How Islamic Revolution empowered and uplifted women in Iran
By Humaira Ahad
On a cold January evening in the ladies-compartment of the Tehran metro, I saw women discussing their daily engagements in a language that demonstrated their cultured but sophisticated imitability.
They all appeared like working women coming back from their respective workplaces, not exhausted but fresh and happy. This is not the image Western media will show of Iran.
Contrary to reality, the women of Iran are shown as controlled and oppressed. Did the Islamic Revolution really push them back or lift them up to dignified positions and honor? Are they living in a repressive society or one that liberates and empowers them, especially women, in a progressive way?
Historical evidence shows that women in Iran had no adequate political and social rights before the Islamic Revolution. Both politically and socially, they were in a closed and passive space. The school system of the Pahlavi era, Westernized as it was, stopped many females from pursuing education.
Young girls were discouraged from continuing their education, the reason being the Westernized environment in universities and the opposition to Hijab. However, the scenario changed after the Islamic Revolution as the percentage of females in universities rose considerably.
Today, universities in Iran are flooded with women – confident, happy and self-assured. The Muslim-majority country’s literacy rate for women is among the best in the world.
Various studies have credited it to the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, who called for the active participation of women, not only in politics but also in higher education and the public sector.
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, women were given equal rights to shape their futures. The revolution provided them a chance to build their distinct political identity and they have been tremendously successful in doing that.
Iranian women are today far more politically aware and enlightened than their counterparts in other Muslim societies.
According to data, in 1977 only 17 percent of the female population in rural areas were literate. The figure grew to 73 percent in 2017, showing a substantial change brought about by the revolution.
As per the 2020 statistics, the overall literacy rate of women in the country was 85.5 percent, more than that of men at 80.8 percent. Surprisingly this female literacy rate happens to be higher than the global average.
As a strong social value for Iranian women, education is seen as real freedom. Almost 60 percent of all university students are females today. The percentage of women in higher education has increased nearly 21 times since the Islamic Revolution.
Presently, the number of female graduates in medical sciences, basic sciences and humanities exceeds the number of male graduates.
Read full article at Press TV