“Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005 in part on a platform of restoring ‘Islamic values’ that hard-liners say were eroded under the reform program of his predecessors.”
“Iran bill to ease polygamy angers women,” by Ali Akbar Dareini for Associated Press, September 4 (thanks to Jihad Watch writer Marisol Seibold):
TEHRAN, Iran – A bill that would allow Iranian men to take additional wives without the consent of their first wife has angered women and the country’s top justice official, who say it would undermine women’s rights and could be a government attempt to more deeply enshrine its strict Islamic interpretation into law.
Outcry over the bill forced parliament to postpone a vote scheduled for Tuesday so lawmakers could debate it further in a committee.
Under Islam, a man can have up to four wives, and countries around the Mideast allow polygamy. However, Iran is one of the few “” along with Syria and Tunisia “” that require the consent of the first wife before a husband can take another. Still polygamy is rare in Iran, where most people frown on the practice.
The government of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed amendments last year to legislation drawn up by the judiciary that was supposed to be a landmark bill to allow women judges for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Opponents said the government is trying to impose an even stricter version of Islamic law in Iran, especially toward women. The complaints were enough to force the parliament speaker to send the bill back to committee before it was to be put to a vote for the first time Tuesday.
Under Iran’s Islamic Republic, women are required to wear headscarves and conservative clothing. A woman needs her husband’s permission to work or travel abroad and a man’s court testimony is considered twice as important as a woman’s.
Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005 in part on a platform of restoring “Islamic values” that hard-liners say were eroded under the reform program of his predecessors. In 2006, Iranian activists launched a campaign to try to change laws that deny women equal rights in matters such as divorce and court testimonies “” sparking a crackdown in which a number of women activists were arrested.
Despite the current restrictions, Iran’s 35 million women have greater freedoms and political rights than women in most neighboring Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia. There are numerous women in parliament and other political offices, though they are barred from the presidency and the more powerful, clerical post of supreme leader….