Those who oppress women’s safety and professional activities must be prosecuted

english.khamenei.ir
*Those who oppress women’s safety and professional activities must be prosecuted*

_By_ Sayyid Ali Khamenei
Leader, Islamic Republic of Iran

_*If the situation is made in such a way that women do not have an opportunity, because of the amount of work and pressure from various other occupations, to work on their own ethics, religion, and awareness, this is oppression. If the woman does not choose, for herself, her husband, and her needs and desires are not considered in her marriage, this is oppression. Anybody who is responsible for this type of oppression must be prosecuted by the Islamic society and laws.*_

The most important thing that mankind needs is peace of mind. Prosperity is being safe from spiritual turmoil, anxiety and being morally in peace: this is provided by family; for both men and women. The next sentence is fascinating. It reads: “and He placed between you affection and mercy” [in a couple] (Quran 30:21) The accurate relation between a man and a woman involves affection and mercy, friendship and kindness; they should love each other and also be thoughtful towards one another. Love along with violence is not acceptable; kindness without affection is not acceptable, either.

The divine nature of men and women is a nature that creates, between a man and woman, a relationship based on passion and kindness: “affection and mercy.” If this relation changes, if the man acts as ruler of the homestead, if he looks down on the woman as an employee or a slave, this is oppressive behavior; unfortunately, a lot of men commit this type of oppression. The same goes for conditions outside of the family life: if the woman doesn’t have a safe and secure environment for her studies, work, possibly earning money and time for relaxation, this is oppressive. Anybody who is responsible for this type of oppression must be prosecuted by the Islamic society and laws.

If women are not allowed access to education–knowledge and awareness–this is oppression. If the situation is made in such a way that women do not have an opportunity, because of the amount of work and pressure from various other occupations, to work on their own ethics, religion, and awareness, this is oppression. If the woman does not choose, for herself, her husband, and her needs and desires are not considered in her marriage, this is oppression. If a woman, when living at home with family or when separated from the husband, cannot have the proper emotional relationship with her child, this is oppression. If the woman has a special talent–for instance, in science, invention or discovery, politics and social work–but she is not allowed to use or develop her talents, this is oppression.

October 22, 1997

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