Women’s life valued at half a man’s

Iran: Women’s life valued at half a man’s

Douglas, Carol Anne

TEHRAN–A woman’s life is valued only half as much as a man’s life, as stated in Article 209 of Iran’s Islamic criminal law. A convicted man who has intentionally slain a woman is subject to execution only after the payment of “Deyeh” by the family of the victim. “Deyeh” is defined as a sum of money that the victim’s family has to pay to the assailants family for the physical damages, dismemberment, or death of the assailant. The “deyeh” of a Muslim woman is half the “deyeh” of a Muslim man.

The “deyeh” for a man is the equivalent of $11,000 U.S. dollars. If the murderer and the victim are both men, the amount of “deyeh” is determined by their respective education, occupation, and social position. The “deyeh” for a woman about $5,500, and her education and occupation are not taken into account.

These laws can be further clarified by the following example. Gholamreza Khroshrowkoran Kordieh raped and murdered 11 women. He was convicted and condemned to death. However, the verdict was carried out only after the payment of “deyeh” by the victim’s families. The execution could be carried out only when every one of the families had paid “deyeh.”

Further gender discrimination in the criminal law can be seen in Amendment One of Article 1210, which defines the age of maturity for males as fifteen lunar years and for females as nine lunar years. According to the law, boys and girls from the ages of fifteen and nine, respectively, are held legally responsible for their actions.

The law and lawmakers in Iran do not show any concern about violence in the family. The victims of violence in the family who resort to the family courts are condemned for causing their husbands’ violence. Women are cautioned to be submissive to their husbands’ wishes. They are expected to understand that their husband’s violence is for the good of the family, and is necessary for the proper rearing of the children. The prosecutors often overlook violence in the family.

The victim will not charge the assailant husband, because the court offers no assistance or resolutions.

–info from the Association of Iranian Women. Contact: 85 South Bragg St., Suite 2000A, Alexandria, VA 22312. Telephone: 703-941-8584.

Copyright Off Our Backs, Inc. Dec 1998

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