Single women in Iran may soon need father's consent to travel abroad
Single women in Iran will need the permission and consent of their father or guardian for an abroad visit, if a new parliamentary bill proposing the law secures enough votes in the parliament.
Right now, single people in Iran above the age of 18, can go abroad if they have a passport, but the new bill, if passed, will be rude shock for single women in Iran, the Guardian reports.
Single women whose guardian denies them permission could dispute the decision in a court, according to the rules mentioned in the proposed bill.
According to Hossein Naghavi-Hosseini, the speaker of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policies, under this proposed bill, married women of any age need the written consent of their husband to be able to have a passport. This rule is also in the current legislation that dates back to the pre-1979 Islamic revolution.
Since the revolution, women's rights campaigners have struggled to abolish the need for the husband's consent but the new bill, if passed, would be a major setback.
Deriding the mentality behind these controversial laws, Shadi Sadr, a prominent women's rights activist and human rights lawyer, said that these laws are meant to give power to men over a woman.
The majority of people inside Iran who were barred from leaving the country were either women who did not have the permission of their husbands or tax evaders, she added. Divorced women, however, are currently free to hold a passport and leave the country without permission.
Terming this need for permission as 'modern slavery', Mohammad Mostafaei, a well-known Iranian lawyer currently living in exile in the Netherlands, said that only slaves at the time of slavery needed permission for going anywhere.
Barring citizens from leaving the country is one of the ways the Islamic republic has punished many of its critics in recent years. In a recent example, the family members of the jailed award-winning lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, including her 12-year-old daughter, were subjected to a travel ban.