Women empowerment or in other words free rights to women, is an intrinsic need for any democracy to flourish. Women are the supporting pillars for every country. But it feels weird when people of two countries fight oppositely for the same matter that is important for the maintenance of freedom and democracy. Currently, India and Iran seem to be these two countries, walking parallel but in the opposite directions.
Iran is an Islamic country which has faced drastic changes in relation to its women rights. Even today, various women groups are fighting for their right to freedom. It has always been a point of conflict between the authorities and the people of Iran. The Islamic country Iran has time and again been on a journey of breaks and pauses, when it comes to women rights.
This change was felt with the Islamic revolution of 1979, which brought the state of women’s rights in Iran under various ups and downs. The revolution was considered a turning point in the history of Iran.
What happened during the pre and post Islamic revolution?
At the beginning of 1963, the Shah of Iran, proposed a reform program primarily aimed at land reform, but he also incorporated a provision for extending voting rights to women. This paved the momentum for Iranian women to exercise an expanded right to freedom. During his reign, women were allowed to access education freely and pursue their careers. The political conservatives in power influenced the parents to send their children to study. Apart from this, during the same time, women were allured with the western style of clothing and thus adopted the outfit of skirts, jeans and short sleeved tops.
However, the story completely turned around post the Islamic revolution of 1979. Various obstructions on women to exercise their rights, started to take shape. They were restricted at almost every point. This political shift brought a complementary change in women’s rights as well. Females were forced to wear hijab and burqa, in order to cover themselves entirely. This cessation of women rights was followed by massive protests against the authorities. However, their voices went unheard.
Comparing this suppression, it can be observed that the Iranian land still doesn’t hold much development for women. It is left with no space for women empowerment. However, it’s never too late to fight for your rights. And thus, the females of Iran took to the streets to express their resentment amid the religious politics surrounding the country. In the recent development, various Iranian women are openly challenging the compulsion of wearing a hijab. They are breaking the chains and are calling for freedom. Interestingly, even the males of the Islamic country are voicing for the rights of females.
It’s a well known fact that India is a land of democracy and freedom. The world’s largest democracy provides every deserving right to its citizens irrespective of their gender. However, it is unfortunate that a particular section of India is protesting to cage the free bird in the name of religion. Practically, the females are barring themselves from exercising their right to choose their own clothing.
An example of it can be the massive Karnataka protests that were conducted in February this year. It included various female students demanding their right to wear hijab in classrooms. Consequently, it took no time for the westerners to demean India over this issue. However, it’s important for the people to understand that wearing a hijab or burqa has nothing to do with religion. It’s a mere illegal forcing of some authoritative people.
Different people with same background, following different perceptions
Apparently, the alleged fact that “opposites attract” have been understood by humans so well that they are opposing their right to freedom, when the Indian authorities are providing them with the choice to wear what they want.
It’s the same situation surrounding both the countries of Iran and India, with people belonging to the same ideological background. Even after similar roots, differences can be seen among those who worship the same god, follow the same ideology, and read the same religious books.
Nevertheless, the Iranian women are now trying to push back the orthodox ideologies inculcated in the society. They are fighting for their own rights, sidelining the patriarchal lineage that has swollen the complete notion of freedom. With this, it’s time for the Indian left liberal women as well, to learn the real concept of freedom.
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