Sudwind is delighted that the mandate of Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences has been renewed for 20 years. This shows that there is a will to combat all kinds of harmful acts against women throughout the globe. However, we are concerned that widespread violence against women still exists. In some countries violence against women is prohibited by law but rooted in patriarchal practices and ancient traditions.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, violence against women is legally endorsed, encouraged and promoted. Women are second class human beings in the eye of the establishment especially some religious authorities who have the power to issue fatwas and instigate terror and hatred against women. Discriminatory laws exemplified by the attitudes and behaviors of the establishment have authorized violence against women as part of daily life. In the public arena, for the past 35 years, Iranian women are often humiliated, arrested, beaten, flogged and threatened by morality police and security forces.
Iranian women are not even allowed to decide over their own bodies and clothing. Official support for violence against women goes so far and deep that recently in an article in a well-known fundamentalist homepage declared that if women don’t dress properly i.e. a proper Hijab they have to take into account the “right of men to enjoy them”, meaning raping them.
Discrimination and violence against women in the area of family is endorsed and sanctioned in the laws related to family. As head of the establishment, the man has the ultimate power over the wife. He has the right to enjoy woman’s body at his pleasure whenever and in whichever condition as endorsed by law.
Impunity from honor killing or light punishment which is stated in law has encouraged grave violence against women in Iran.
Only two weeks ago on 28th May 2014 in the city of Kangavar, a father has killed his 17 year old daughter with a knife. The daughter was caught by the guidance forces talking to a boy among a group of teenagers in public.
Sudwind believes that all countries including Iran must take actions to end violence against women through a variety of measures including laws, education and development programs to prevent and eliminate its structural causes.