Written by Euronews

The Islamic Republic of Iran is not kind on women’s rights issues. As a conservative Islamic country, they have laws against women attending sports stadiums, they cannot divorce and work willingly. That requires permission from their male figureheads.

Iranian women have no choice but to wear a hijab, a long headscarf worn by Muslim women. This is a direct form of institutionalized body shaming.

Iran does hold elections but real political power lies with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran. The Ayatollah is in control of the military, courts and the media. In 2015, the supreme leader even said the concept of ‘gender equality’ went against the core value of the Islamic Republic.

Euronews decided to sit down with the Iranian delegate, who is working at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), and ask him questions related to women’s rights in Iran.

Many people in the West views Iran negatively on women’s rights issues, because Iran does rank low on women’s rights. Would you say those views are accurate?

We are a conservative Islamic Republic but that does not mean we are anti-women, we are bad on women’s rights. We just have a different framework on what women’s rights are. We base it off from Islamic teaching. This Western notion of ‘new liberal women’ just don’t line up with this model of contemporary women that Iran proudly represents. Back in 2008, we said that we have a model of contemporary women whose pious promotes the spirituality of family. We are pro-women and we are damn proud of it.

But how can you say that when your country has restriction on women in terms of marriage, jobs, family, just about everything?

Women in Iran are very happy. They are leaders of their own right. They are leaders of their home. Most Iranian men, if not all Iranian men, look up to Iranian women as model of spirituality, chastity, healthy conservatism. Every man in Iran are respectful and proud of their women.

Okay. Well, let’s talk about your resolution. What makes your resolution better than the other three?

HEAD and HerStory, both of these resolutions includes a task force that would collect data. It involves UN mandated team to go into nation states, infringe on their national sovereignty. My resolution respects national sovereignty and would not send invasion forces to another country.

These are teams of scientists, armed with pen and papers.

Pen is mightier than the sword.