Limited rights for women

We looked into taking a trip to Isfahan and Shiraz with Saman, our future sister-in-law. We emailed tour agencies from afar, Saman called a few and we found out two things:

– it’s expensive
– Saman cannot travel with us because she’s a single woman

Apparently being a single woman in Iran is the worst kind of a person to be. You have many limitations:

– in legal matters, your signature is half of that of a man
– you cannot travel alone within Iran unless it is in a tour
– you cannot wear makeup to work if you work for the gov’t
– you have to cover your hair whenever you’re in public and semi-private settings [basically only at your own or a family’s house can you dress as you like]
– if you work for the gov’t, you must wear a chador, it’s basically something that looks like a large black sheet covering your entire body but your face, or a less extreme maghnaeh
– the best one is: you must sit in the back of the bus
– when you’re buried, unlike men, your picture cannot be shown on your grave
– you cannot go to smoke hooka by yourself, you must go with a man that is related to you

… I’m sure there are more things that I do not know.

On a related note, after a beautiful stay in Isfahan, we head to the bus station to head back to Tehran. It’s cold outside and our nice bus driver has the bus nice and toasty. Maybe, it’s a bit too nice because Sara is starting to burn. As I take my beanie and jacket off, Sara must keep her hijab on, it is illegal to show hair in Iran. In addition, she must keep her black knee-long jacket on; it is illegal to show any skin. For the next 30 minutes Sara is burning and getting extremely frustrated. Luckily for her, 30 minutes into the drive, the driver turns off the heater and we’re all comfortable!

One Reply to “Limited rights for women”

  1. It sounds like a very hard place to be female. As a woman, would you start to believe that you are less worthy of having a voice? Or would you secretly know that you are just as good as any man and hope that, one day, other people will realize it too? It’s very hard for me to understand.

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