Supreme Leader of Iran on women in Iran
"In the name of God.
Huge thanks to the honourable ladies for organising this perfect and productive meeting. I personally enjoyed and gained knowledge about all the statements and quotations of the ladies. And i thank god for the deep thoughts that I see, after the conversations with you ladies.
The statements made by you ladies had a very good content and there were a few suggestions, which will be analysed, and the parts which are related to me, I will take responsibility and will certainly follow up.
There is a lot of talk regarding women’s issues, the truth is that “we have fallen behind”, which some of the ladies had mentioned in their statements. However when we talk about “falling behind”, we don’t mean that we are falling behind, for example in scientific knowledge, I use the phrase “we have fallen behind” because in women’s issues, gender issues and all issues which are related to women i.e family, children, marriage and living a comfortable life, then the world becomes meaningful in our case because we have so many important things to say to the world and share our knowledge and perceptions about this issue, which we haven’t transferred to the world, yet.
The world needs these clear and universal concepts, as some of the ladies mentioned that when we propose these thoughts and concepts to the rest of the world they will embrace it, or as some other ladies mentioned that the scientific achievement in the field of Psychology and ect. has confirmed the Islamic Law about women.
These are only a small proportion of the capabilities of the Islamic intellectuals and we have not yet been successful to announce and express our knowledge to the world. In many areas, we have not been able to convey to the world about the reality of Islam, and we cannot blame this fact on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The amount of good work that has already been done in the world is only because of the activities and the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the penetration of thoughts and ideology of the Imam Khomeini, the revolution and his name that has been extended to the world to a certain limit.
But we have to work much more than this, and we need what I am going to tell you now.
To have the protected battlefield to attack, not to defend, we need to publish these thoughts and ideology. This attack could be defensive and protective. And what ever you do to recover from this falling behind I think is necessary to work.
In context of this movement- awakening movement related to women -, we should not procrastinate, stop or hesitate in the middle of the path.
Although we have the authority of complete, useful and compelling ideology from Islam about women, however, we practically placed ourselves in a passive position in front of western ideology about women.
Western discussion and ideology about women is a very calculated political subject. The day the thinking and discourse on women began in the west; there was an exact calculation behind it.
Of course this is not as the news that I can talk about as it is based on the information according to the news, however there is real evidence that supports this analysis. From the beginning of the Renaissance in the west and followed by that the presence of industry emergence of new industries, gradually this western discussion and ideology about women grew and the climax of that is in our time which this climax is associated with decline and descent and hopefully with the will of God this ideology about women will collapse.
Western discussion and ideology about women has several components, which two of them are outstanding. One of them is placing women in men’s place, this is an important part of this discourse and the other one is using women as a tool for men’s joy, it can be joy for men’s eyes or even worse. This feminism issue, which is common in today’s world, is the result of the western discussion about women.
This means they are looking for different jobs which is more compatible with men’s physical, neurological and intellectual constitution and drag this toward girls and women and give this as a honour and a point for women. We have been passive and accepted this discourse without knowing and wanting it.
You can see, we are now proud to see that we have a number of women in the government administration. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with this, I do not ban or reject and I don’t see a problem with that, suppose that our health minister was a woman or our vice president or any other part are women, I don’t see a problem with that, what is wrong is to be proud of it and want to tell the whole world that we have women in our executive departments, this is being passive, this is nothing to be proud of!
Well, for example a woman has abilities and she is appropriate for that specific official position, it is not against the law but it is wrong to be proud and tell everyone, we have this number of women in charge of our executive departments.
It is good that we can be proud of the number of female intellectuals and educated females. We can say that we have many female authors, many female cultural activists, or female political activists – there is no problem with this. It is good to say we have this number of women who wish to be a martyr and mujahid in various fields. If we say that we have so many women who are politically activist in areas related to the Islamic Revolution, who are also writers, and speakers; this is good and it is good to be proud of this kind of people.
However, it is wrong to be proud of the number of female secretaries, female representatives, female deputy heads for different sections and female managers for business institutions. This reaction is passivity towards these women.
Did we ever plan to give women jobs that are supposed to be for men? No, for a woman, a woman’s position, identity and personality is of a high standard and dignity as it is, and in some cases, higher than men.
Overall there is no difference in men and women in terms of creation, in terms of their natural characteristics that God has created, some concessions are for women sides and some concessions are for men sides, almighty God has given these characteristic to this gender, has given these values, so that there is no difference in terms of humanity for men and women. There is no difference in the values that god gives to a human, in terms of human rights, in terms of social rights , in terms of spiritual rights and spiritual evolution.
For example a man will be like Ali ibn-Abitâleb and a woman like Fatima, a man like Jesus and a women like Mary, so they are not different from each other. Therefore this point of view is correct, to see a woman in her own gender, as a real women and know her as a real God believer and to see what values can help this person belongs to this gender and society to improve. We should not look at the western society and show passivity in front of them – however, unfortunately we were passive in front of them.
However, in the second part, where women are an object needed for men’s sexual needs. Not spiritual needs, not an academic need; it is possible that two people sit, and one can enjoy the other’s company, charm and her knowledge; but this isn’t the case- it is where a male is easily satisfied from a females sexuality, this is like water flooding which has entered those non-Islamic countries without a shield and protection from the west; also to our country. Luckily the revolution took place, and it approximately stopped it from being otherwise and we have to stop it completely; this is a big danger; a huge tragedy! The hijab , is one of the premises of this work, the clothes and covering the same. Communication between woman and man and the limit of communication is one of the premises. This tragic issue which involves a male as well as female- and that it includes humiliation of a female, without them being aware of it, this has to be stopped. These days in the world this issue is being said and published on purpose. I also know, and have read in articles, papers and books, that the thinkers gradually feel fear and terror from this circumstance; and they are right about this, but they discovered it too late; they have involved themselves with the issue of carnality- which had just concentrated on the female; and now you see that in the world worse than this is happening, this issue of homosexuality, and these kinds of marriages and both families sexuality being the same and similar issues- these are things that are easily said; these are huge, deep, dangerous holes and pits that are within the civilization and in front of theses people who are controlling and running it. This is a strange slippage, and it will put those people on their knees; this is just half of the way, it’s a slip half. But in my opinion they aren’t able to prevent this from happening, which means their problem has gone beyond the fixing point. I myself about approximately 8 to 10 years ago- I saw in the foreign news papers and read that Americans are trying to use books of a novelist and family writer for example where his novels are within the family range area,- to make films and movies to basically move and change the direction of the film and cinema similar to the novelists to that direction, so they did some work towards it and still doing and trying. But these are very thin flows confronting massive water flooding which they created with their own bear hands, which has made them suffer and it will make them suffer more. But of course about this issue we are immune towards it because of the Hijab and these things that exist- but we shouldn’t take this very easy, we have to give a lot of concern and attention towards it. Within these fields that you have mentioned (women) that are currently working on it, this issue and the danger of sexual attraction for both females and males, society and families, in my opinion this has to be taken very seriously. As I said that Islamic ideology and discussion are about “true women”; the discussion that I’ve also mentioned, we have to say it in an active way. Utterly don’t confront this issue in a passive manner.
Some organizations, like ‘Women Movements’ or ‘The United Nation’ have set rules for us and threaten us by saying that if you do this or that to our ladies we will issue a written declaration against you!! Well!! To hell you do it!!! Go and do it!! What Islam says about women should be presented with aggressive spirit. If they ask, why you do not let women free not to wear hijab, it must be replied, why you give this obnoxious and horrendous freedom in the West. It is frightening to imagine how women are exposed and dressed in the West!? What are they trying to do and where does it end!!? May be you have more information about this than me, but I know exactly what is happening to women at all levels of life and work in the West. The female characters that should be mentioned in this dialogue are their dignity, honour, grace, physical and mental sensitivity and also neurological building elegance. The extremely fine and delicate nerves and senses of the children can only be cared with mothers’ touch. No one else can do it, i.e. no one but females. This is females’ job. Some jobs are so sensitive that makes one wonder how the divine power could mix such a high ability with elegance and grace. I always tell my friends, family and ladies that between men and women, the women are stronger. Women with management and elegance can control men. We can experience this in our daily life. We can also prove it with intellectual and logical comparisons. This is a fact. Yes, there are some women who do not use these wisdoms, but the women who use this wisdom control their men. This is like tethering a fierce lion and then getting a ride. This does not mean that she is physically stronger than the lion. This means, she is able to take the moral authority. Women have these abilities, but with grace and elegance. Grace and elegance is not only in the physical composition and physical structure, but rather the elegance and wisdom is in thinking and decision-making apparatus that God placed on women. So, in my opinion, the basis of this dialogue should be this and this dialogue must be strengthened and continued. The second issue that I would like to say is about the current situation of women in our country. I believe the most important things are two. The first is the validity and importance of home and family. One should have respect for the dignity of the home. A person without a home, housing – is inconceivable. Every person needs a house and a home environment. The spirit of the house is a family environment and should be given importance. This should be reflected and contemplated. The second is prevention of oppression of women at all levels. We have women who are weak and deprived, women who are subdued. We need to stop this injustice.
There is an important need for a law, that must be followed with regard to conduct women covering various ages and levels in society – The following are the notes that I have written with regard to various levels of interactions covering family, cultural and, sexual interactions, so that a woman respect is not lost in the eyes of her family, brothers and children. If the women’s place in the family is respected and considered holy then many families and society issues will be solved.
We have to create a situation so that a child appreciates her mother enough that it kisses her hand. This is what Islam is after. It is this type of behaviour that we find in a true Islamic family. This type of behaviour is not incompatible with the innate emotional bond that exists between mother and a child. Unfortunately in our country there still exists a situation where a man insults verbally or physically his wife. This should not exist in our country. In the West, however this type of behaviour is very common; in particular amongst the European who like to hide their wild animal like nature and behind the facade of a suit and a tie. However, their true animal like nature, which is evident in their history, is still very apparent in their culture and is shown in the ease with which they are willing to kill. So for them, hitting women in their own home, is nothing to be shamed about and this is something, which is also true for the Americans. But in an Islamic society such behaviour shouldn’t exist. But it unfortunately exists; so following two points need to be considered and planned for.
These two major points are marriage and escape from celibacy or single life, and removing the obstacles towards marriage. I am happy to see that the women have also agreed on the points I have made, with regard to do covering themselves, and the rules with concerning their general interactions.
I have also been thinking about the rights of women and their rights for financial and legal protection whether they are innocent or guilty. As Mrs Korasan-Rasavi noted, there is need for justice in this area, and we hope to achieve the objective. One of the concerns is that women in the tribunal and judicial environments may not be able to defend themselves and may not have the money for an attorney to defend them and thus allow others to oppress them. The issue of women’s employment, about type of employment and how they should be employed also needs to be considered. But the most important issue is the first issue I discussed about the Woman’s role and interaction in society. One must have a symmetric approach to the role of women in the country, which covers the areas of their legal, religious and social rights. This whole approach needs to be calculated with precision
Of course in some of the reports that I have received or what has been said in here, referenced to that there are some thoughts that have been added to this context, however I believe a comprehensive work should be done on this area.
I don’t believe in short time work, If we image and draw women’s issues in a complete system form with a correct geometry, with a excellent and constant centre with a strong field, then below this excellence and constant centre, inappropriate foundation and institutions will be created for different sectors which they will know about each other activities and an appropriate database will be created, even now women who are present in this session they do not know about each other. We have elite and wise women in various parts with different views and must use this great collection.
As a final point, activist women had a prominent role in the revolution, shortly before revolution victory and in the beginning of the revolution during the war. Do not let down these active women in revolution and war.
Others in confrontation with our revolution try to use the elements of efficient men and women.
Our Revolution front has much more efficient, active, author and scientists women. Women who are writers, activist, and women with great speech should not leave the revolution.
For development of women with all we said and we heard from you ,the IRANIAN TV must hundred percentage play a role that we believe and we recommend it .
IRANIAN TV can create a culture which a believer, active, mujahid women with hejab and Muslim woman’s characteristic will be respected in the community and be holy. However others do not want this to happen and they want the opposite to happen. Unfortunately some IRANIAN TV programs are in the wrong direction, which others ( western ) want them to be, however they should change their direction. IRANIAN TV must serve this thought.
It can be considered as a conclusion that we had progress in the field of women, however these developments are not appropriate with expectation and needs with the possibility that we have in Islam. However, you women must fill this gap in the best way.
I hope God protects and helps you to success and go further day by day toward that which is desirable in Islam."