While three women are due to be in President Ahmadinejad’s new cabinet, a 57 year old teacher, Alieh Eghdamdoust is in Evin prison for peacefully demonstrating for equal legal rights with men. As well as their testimony being worth half that of a man’s in a court, women also face discrimination in laws that deal with marriage, divorce, and child custody. As Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel prize-winner, has shown, Iranian women do not lack courage. When asked by the judge why she was at the demonstration, Ms Eghdamdous responded with, “Why didn’t you defend your daughters and wife’s rights by attending the legal peaceful gathering?”
Other women activists are also being intimidated.Zeynab Bayzeydi has been sentenced to four years imprisonment and Ronak Safarzadeh to six years. Though the situation for women in Iran is much better than some other Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia, nevertheless this discrimination is still a source of great stress, now made much worse by the fact the government is taking such stern action against those peacefully campaigning for change.