There are ten areas that Maryam Rajavi and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) see as in need of improvement in terms of gender equality in Iran.
Let’s explore those ten areas and how Maryam Rajavi would tackle them in more detail.
1. Fundamental freedoms and rights
Maryam Rajavi believes that women should have the same human rights and fundamental freedoms as men and vows to ban any type of discrimination against women, in order to ensure that women are equal to men in all economic, social and political spheres.
2. Legal Equality
Maryam Rajavi believes that women and men should have equal protection under the law. Thus, she would:
• raise of the criminal age of responsibility for girls in Iran to 18
• make courts recognise that testimonies and affidavits from women hold equal weight to those from men
• guarantee women’s access to the police and the courts in cases of violence, rape and sexual assault, discrimination, and deprivation of liberty
Maryam Rajavi believes that women should choose their own clothing without governmental interference, so she would repeal the law on mandatory hijab/veiling and repeal laws that allow employers to dictate the wearing of the hijab.
4. Equal political participation
Maryam Rajavi thinks that women should be allowed to equally participate in political leadership, including:
• formulation and implementation of government policy
• the holding of public office
• the ability to perform all public functions at all levels of government
Therefore, Maryam Rajavi would remove any law banning or limit women’s occupation of senior posts in the government and the judiciary. She would also implement a system when at least half of senior government positions must be given to women and at least half of the candidates for election from any political party must be women. This system is already in place at the NCRI and has worked well to promote equality.
5. Economic Equality
Maryam Rajavi believes that women and men should have equal economic rights, including equal opportunities in the job market, equal pay and equal employment rights. Maryam Rajavi also believes that women should have equal access to men in terms of inheritance, entering contracts, and property management.
6. Equality in the family sphere
Maryam Rajavi thinks that women should have equal rights in family life, which means the freedom to marry or divorce as they see fit (without coercion) and that both parents are responsible for child-rearing, which means that they have equal rights over the children.
Maryam Rajavi would ban underage marriage, polygamy, and any governmental interference into the private lives of women.
7. Criminalising violence
Along with banning the death penalty and torture, Maryam Rajavi would also criminalise rape, various other forms of violence against women, acts of intimidation, and the forcible deprivation of women’s freedoms.
8. Banning sexual exploitation
Maryam Rajavi wants women to be protected from sexual exploitation, so she would ban the sex trade, the trafficking of women, and forcing women into prostitution.
9. Repealing Sharia law
The repeal of the mullahs’ Sharia laws by Maryam Rajavi would remove many sexist laws that the Regime wanted in place, including stoning as a punishment and the acceptance of crimes against women.
10. Social benefits
Maryam Rajavi believes that women must have equal access with men to social benefits relating to retirement, unemployment, old age and other forms of disability, and that women from marginalised groups should receive special financial, educational and medical support from the government.
Maryam Rajavi also believes that pregnant women and new mothers should have rights to maternity leave, medical care, and government-funded daycare when they return to work.