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Stop Violence Against Women


Source: CHRI

Women and Girls in Iran Are Unprotected from Many Forms of Violence

November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

The UN states: "Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today." In 1999, the UN designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in order to raise public awareness of the problem.

One of the aims of this day is to highlight the degree to which this violence is hidden-a salient factor in the Iranian context, where social stigma makes it difficult for a woman to speak out against domestic violence.

Violence against women in Iran is multifaceted and rarely goes punished. Assaults against women protesting forced hijab in 2018, and the acid attacks against women wearing "improper hijab" in Isfahan in 2014, were never followed by prosecutions.

The abuse inherent in child marriage is rife, with 20 percent of girls married under the age of 18 and 6 percent married between the ages of 10 and 14.

Iranian academic studies estimate two-thirds of Iranian women experience at least one episode of domestic violence during their married life- yet legislation to protect them has been languishing in parliament for years.

In some cases, Iran's laws exacerbate vulnerability to domestic abuse. Iran's Civil Code forbids a woman from leaving the matrimonial home without the husband's permission unless she is able to prove in court she is endangered.

This leaves Iranian women deeply vulnerable to violence, especially given that if a woman leaves the marital home, she is not given maintenance.

The lack of standard mechanisms such as orders of protection to prevent contact between abusers and victims further endangers women.

Violence against women requires significantly increased societal awareness and legal protections-in essence, a government and societal-wide commitment to render unacceptable this crime.

Alarming Figures:

  • 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner
  • Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care
  • Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2017; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances
  • 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited
  • Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.

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