When I saw the pupils, girls wearing uniforms with cloaks that match loosely with black head covers and boys wearing colorful jeans and shirts, then it all began. It was also the first time I felt like I was considered to be a second-class citizen in my country. Women are expected to move through a network of various constraints in my country, that is, Iran, to be imposed by morality, customs and regulations. Technically all characteristics pertaining our existence from matters that are personal such as clothing, the units which we undertake at the institutions of higher education and the positions we get in workplaces get controlled. Women are controlled and manipulated by men at will, and this is sad state of affairs considering the massive developments and empowerment of women in the rest of the world.
In our livelihoods, we do not have rights and privileges as self-regulating and liberated women. Since birth, women are deliberated to be ultimately reliant on our masculine families and relations. If one wants to acquire a passport, travel, work or even go out their husband, father, or any other male guardian gets to decide whether or not they are permitted. As a matter of fact, it is 100 % legal for your father to kill you, and this is completely outrageous. Moreover, you can be a medal-winning athlete old enough to make decisions but if your husband does not approve of your activities then you have no choice but to submit. For instance, Niloufar Ardalan, Iran’s captain of the women football team, was not able to play internationally in a tournament that was taking place in Malaysia since her husband had forbidden her from travelling. Besides, men are allowed to have four spouses and even more if they desire to, and again this is not fair to the womenfolk.
Being a woman in my country, I am barred from accomplishing my primary undertakings and making individual decisions. Also, I am not supposed to ride a bike, take my dog or cat out for a walk, enter or work in coffee shops or get into sports stadiums. Laughing in public is also prohibited since it is regarded to be an indecent behavior which may attract attention. Even though I live in a city next to the coast, I have never swum at sea. I cannot dress how I want or wear anything which has patterns or is colorful, or skinny jeans, leggings, high heels, boots, hat, jewelry that has bright color, makeup that is visible and nail polish is also outlawed. As a lady, one is not expected to show any strand of hair, or they will face morality policies if caught doing so. These policies are similar to the criminal policies although they mainly deal with acts such as women wearing unauthorized dress codes. If one is found guilty, she gets arrested, dragged to the van belonging to policymakers, and taken to the police station. In the process, they undergo humiliation and get bruised before getting back home. These policies of morality facilitate systems in which women are excluded from participating fully in the society and relegating them to their homes and mere subordinates.
Male chauvinism will always be felt in that men have more prominent schools, better teachers, better facilities in their learning institutions, more freedom and get accorded almost all positions in workplaces despite a woman being more qualified. In universities, more seating positions are considered to be for the men while they get to be more respected and better treated in the society.
In summary, I would like to say that I hate such a life for myself and I would wish that women in our society get more empowerment. Education is one of the key ways through which the female gender can be empowered to complete and realize their dreams. From an individual perspective, I would like to grow and maximize my potential since I have always taken advantage of all the opportunities I had. When one is an Iranian woman, the culture or community tends to destroy one’s courage and ambitions to stop them from being independent and strong. I believe that all is not lost, and with my ACT score of 32, I am looking forward to developing professional and the same cam help me advocate for the rights and empowerment in Iran. I believe that giving me this opportunity is the same as giving many Iranian women voice and hope.
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