Divorce in Iran & Women in the Arab World
Some common refrains might refer to the freedom, or lack thereof, of dress; to the burdensome female role of wife and mother in the household; or even to the right to drive. However, like any place in the world, there is a spectrum of varied lived experiences, due to such factors as class, social customs, geographical location, family traditions, exposure to other cultures through trade, and so on.
In the first two months of this Iranian calendar year (late March to late May) alone, more than 21,000 divorce cases were logged, according to official statistics. The rise in the number of couples choosing to split up has angered conservatives in Iran who see the increase in divorce as an affront to the values of the Islamic Republic. Last month, Mustafa Pour Mohammadi, the current justice minister who is also a cleric, said that having 14 million divorce cases within the judiciary is “not befitting of an Islamic system,” according to the Iranian Students News Agency. Some of the causes for divorce in Iran, like many other countries, include economic problems, adultery, drug addiction or physical abuse. But the increase in the divorce rate points to a more fundamental shift in Iranian society, experts say.
The previous situation, where a Westernized political elite imposed legal reforms on societies that were still largely very traditional, may now be reversed. In the wake of the Iranian example, some Middle Eastern governments are seeking to reassign an inferior legal status to women at a time when an ever-growing segment of their societies has been influenced by the women's liberation movement in the West. Under these circumstances it seems certain that the legal status of women in the Middle East will remain a hotly contested issue.
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Rearden, Jason. 19 Things You Should Do Before You Get Married. Thought Catalog. 2012. Web.