The statement by Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi that women ‘who do not dress modestly…increase earthquakes’ has caught the attention of the world as a rather odd explanation for the rumblings of our planet. For Iranian women it is a rather shocking reminder that they need to dress conservatively. Underlying that is the much more serious – and indeed stressful – issue of the place of women in society. Obliged to be under the authority of either their father or husband; their word worth half that of a man in the courts; and having to accept that it is legal for their husband to have up to four permanent wives and as many temporary ones as he wants – it is not difficult for women to suffer low self worth. Given this sort of record on women’s rights there has been uproar over Iran being given a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Women activists in Iran, some who have suffered imprisonment, are not impressed.
Thankfully when women become Christians they soon learn the immense value they have in Christ and the church. And then the church goes onto impact the wider society. For wherever Christianity has spread, so the lot of women has improved. May this be true for Iran too.