If those on the extreme and religious right have it their way, the women of our nation will become third class citizens. However, we wouldn’t come close to Iran, a country waging a greater war on women than the United States.
As of this date 170 people have been executed in Iran. The latest occurred Saturday when Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at sunrise. She was convicted in 2009 of premeditated murder.
The sentence was death by hanging. She was charged with using a knife to stab an older man in the back, killing him, in 2007. She was 19-years-old at the time.
Jabbari claimed attempted rape, but the court argued that there was no evidence supporting her claim. It also declared the she had planned the murder, and the proof was demonstrated by the fact that Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi had been stabbed in the back. It also claimed that she had purchased the murder weapon two days prior to Sarbandi’s death. The final piece of the evidence was a text she sent to a friend stating that she was going to kill him three days before his death.
The United States and Amnesty International attempted to intervene claiming the trial was flawed and appealed to the nation’s Supreme Court to halt the execution. It denied the request.
The state claimed that Jabarri had confessed to the murder several times after she was arrested. It suggested she fabricated the claim of attempted rape long after those confessions were made.
After examination of the trial transcripts, a State Department official from the United States reported that there were several questionable statements and circumstances relating to how Sarbandi was killed. Iran has severe laws regarding women and their rights. The question also arose when it was discovered that Sarbandi was a former Intelligence Officer of the State.
Iran’s execution has been condemned by Amnesty International, the United States, and several European nations.
The legal process in the United States is far more thorough. That doesn’t mean that the outcome is always the correct one, but the burden of proof requires a higher standard. It is very unlikely that something similar could happen in our nation. However, millions of our people believe women should not have certain rights, and place them in a subordinate role in our country.
The subject of women’s rights must always begin with the highly volatile subject of abortion. When Roe v Wade was upheld by the Supreme Court by a vote of 7-2 in 1973, women received the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies. The Justices cited the 14th amendment, ensuring equal protection under the law, and protecting citizenship rights.
The Republican Party, with support by the religious right both vocally and financially, have been fighting to have Roe v Wade reversed for 41 years. Some ‘red’ states have revised their laws to make it more difficult if not impossible for poor and lower middle class women to obtain an abortion by requiring doctors performing abortions to have hospital privileges locally. This action has forced the closing of numerous Planned Parenthood offices.
A second complaint by women’s groups is equal treatment in the workplace. Recently a law to guarantee equal pay for women for equal work was defeated by a unanimous vote of Republicans.
Refusing a woman’s right to be paid equally to men places them in a second class position. Denying them control over their own bodies; placing a fetus ahead of their rights; makes them third class citizens.
Iran may be worse than the United Sates with the severity of their actions against women, but equality between the sexes continues to be non-existent in many states and within many socio-economic and religious factions.
A war on women has been waged all over the world for centuries, and the gentler sex has become less fragile. In Egypt, in Southeast Asia, in parts of Europe and the United States women are demanding equality.
For Reyhaheh Jabbari justice and equality will never come. There will come a time when the women of Iran will fight for their rights in her name.