Sunday, April 29, 2007

And you thought America was tough.

Women in Iran seeing crackdown on rights

If a man dies childless in Iran, the totality of the inheritance goes to his parents, not his wife.

Obviously the rights of childfree women in Iran don't place high on the radar - there are much bigger issues at stake. I thought it was worth noting when this turned up, though. It is just further evidence on the sliding scale across cultures, how women are more valued when they have produced children.

Thank goodness here in America that notion is cultural and not legal, and it is disappearing to boot. The progress here may be subtle, but it is there. Indeed insinuations that having children makes a person less valuable (whether tongue in cheek or taken out of context) have received a great deal of derision in the last year. (see the gay rights movement's Washington amendment, or the comments to Condi Rice)

Perhaps when women across the world have received full rights as we have, this trend will be seen globally as well.

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Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Islamic cultures are really hung up on women as mothers.

I don't know if this is true in Iran, but in Iraq, a woman goes by "Umm" (mother) plus the name of her firstborn child, ie: Umm Fatima, or Umm Ali.

Imagine spending your adult life being called "Jeremy's Mom" everywhere you go, whether at work, at a picnic, or wherever!

Obviously in such a culture, a woman who's been married a few years and is still just plain old Leila is a freak or a failure.

Even if we assume that all women in these cultures want kids (which is unlikely), the medical fact that failure to produce children could lie with the man should be enough motivation to ban inheritance laws like the one in Iran.

They're not medically ignorant in these countries. Just stupid and heartless when it comes to their oh-so-important bloodlines. How can one hope to address the issue of childfreedom when they still can't accept that it might not be the woman's fault she doesn't have a dozen kids?

L.T. said...

You make some good points.

The part about being called "Ali's mom" is interesting. I have noticed on the 'net that a lot of women are voluntarily referring to themselves that way. After I told my own mother about this, she looked horrified. "No offense, honey, but I will never be just "Laura's Mom"

None taken :)