Iran: Iran Backs Away From Temporary Marriages
Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a mid-ranking cleric, sparked an uproar last week when he told a clerical conference in the holy city of Qom that Iran should promote the obscure practice for youths who are financially unable to permanently marry. The centuries-old tradition has become associated with prostitution and female dishonor, and the proposal outraged many Iranians.
"Recent statements by the interior minister are based on a clerical position," Gholam Hossein Elham, the government spokesman and justice minister, was quoted as saying by IRNA, the official news agency, on Friday. "It is not the idea of the administration." Elham, implying that Pourmohammadi raised the issue as a cleric and not a government minister, said: "Discussion and expressing comment in this regard is only within the authority of clerics and experts."
Some 60 percent of Iran's population is under 30. And with the economy burdened by high inflation and unemployment, many lack the money to buy or rent their own home.
Pourmohammadi's call was the first in support of sigheh in over a decade. The last such proposal was similarly withdrawn after strong negative reaction.
Sexual relations outside marriage are banned under Islamic law and opponents argued that sigheh would give wealthy men religious cover to have affairs.
Prostitution was banned in Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution but has increased in recent years. There are no official statistics available in Iran on the number of prostitutes, but unofficial figures published by some media outlets put the number in the many thousands.
By: Nasser Karimi
June 8, 2007
- Egypt: Press Release by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders on the Appeal Verdict in the Case of Yara Sallam and Sanaa Seif
- Iran's Women's Affairs Chief Feels Powerless To Act
- Prominent Women Human Rights Defender Esraa Abdel-Fattah Banned From Traveling Outside Egypt
- Bangladesh: Government plans to relocate camps cause fear and anxiety among Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
- North Africa: Racism, sexism and violence against sub-Saharan African migrant women
- Please acquit and release Asia Bibi
- Over 220 Global Organizations Call for Immediate Release of Seven Imprisoned Women Human Rights Defenders in Egypt
- Send your support to Yara Sallam and other human rights defenders imprisoned in Egypt
- URGENT: Join the international campaign against Egypt’s repressive protest law!
- Arbitrary Arrests and Detention of Women Human Rights Defenders
- Egypt: #noprotestlaw campaign abridged toolkit
- Disposable Victims: Laws and Practices on Gender-related Killings of Women and Girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran
- 35 Years of Forced Hijab: The Widespread and Systematic Violation of Women's Rights in Iran
- No One is Safe: Abuses of Women in Iraq's Criminal Justice System
- Early and Forced Marriage in the Islamic Republic of Iran