The head coach of Iran’s national Alpine skiing team was banned from accompanying her team to a competition in Italy because of a Misogynous law that means she had to get her husband’s permission to leave the country.
Samira Zargari was prevented from flying out last month, according to a source in the Ski Federation, despite repeated efforts by the federation to get the exit ban lifted so that she could attend the competition.
She was restricted by Paragraph 3 of Article 18 of the Passport Law, which states that married women can only obtain a passport with the written permission of their husband. Outside of marriage, she needs the consent of her nearest male relative, normally her father or paternal grandfather.
Zargari’s case is far from an isolated incident.
The captain of women’s national futsal team, Niloufar Ardalan, was banned from taking part in the Asian competitions in September 2014 after her husband made a complaint.
While in 2017, archer and Paralympian Zahra Nemati was prevented from leaving the country because of her husband’s refusal. Then, eight women who were on national Iranian sports teams were stopped from taking part in international tournaments following their husband’s complaints, according to MP Tayyebeh Siavoshi.
There are many misogynistic laws and structure in Iran that restrict women in employment. It is part of a system designed to keep men in the workplace and women in the home.
For example, Article 1117 of the Civil Code says that a husband can ban his wife from a job or industry that he deems would be against the interests of the family or the dignity of either spouse.
Last October, the Tehran Court of Appeals ruled that a female doctor in the emergency department, who examined 180-200 patients per day for COVID-19, was banned from practising medicine because her husband didn’t want her to do so.
This was the same time that the Iranian medical community was under intense pressure because of COVID-19 deaths among doctors and nurses, of whom there were already too few.
And now a new directive, introduced in 2021, means that married women wanting to take the dental residency exam must get their husbands’ consent. It has even been entered into the test that the husband agrees that, following the training period, his wife may serve in any place that the Ministry of Health and Medical Education wish.
This is presumably because there was a lot of women completing training and then being banned from taking a position, but this was not the way to deal with it.