Target: President Hassan Rouhani
Goal: Celebrate the decision of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to support gender equality in his country
The president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, should be praised for his recent support of gender equality. In a speech televised on Women’s Day in Iran in late April, Mr. Rouhani called for a change in mindset for those who believe that women’s presence in society is a threat. He also admitted that Iran had a ‘long way to go’ in order to achieve gender equality. International human rights activists have long stated that Iran’s laws are draconian in relation to women. This speech by Mr. Rouhani must be recognized as a positive step forward.
A religious moderate elected in 2013, Mr. Rouhani stated that according to Islamic rules, there is no dominant sex. And therefore, women must be able to enjoy equal social rights under the law. Unfortunately, there are those in power above him who do not agree with his views. A day after his speech, the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that gender equality was, “one of the biggest mistakes of the Western thought.” He went on to claim that “equality is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.” This kind of thinking will doom Iran to a future of further gender inequality.
Many citizens in Iran still believe that a woman’s role is in the family environment and household. That is why Mr. Rouhani’s stance is so important to admire. Women in Iran are not allowed to divorce or collect inheritance, and are often unable to claim Iranian nationality, preventing them from travelling internationally. Women are also not allowed to major in certain studies at university. Mr. Rouhani’s statement that backed gender equality is a positive step forward. Sign this petition to celebrate the decision of Iran’s President.
Dear President Rouhani,
The recent statements you have made in relation to gender equality should be praised. I understand that these views that you have expressed are in direct opposition to the majority of the citizens of your country. I hope that their opposition to gender equality will not prevent you from pursuing your goals.
By allowing for greater autonomy for Iranian women, your country will grow politically, economically and socially. Iran will become a more respected member of the international community as well. I sincerely hope that you continue your work to improve the lives of Iranian women and I thank you for your work so far.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hamed Saber via Wikipedia Commons