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Barred from traveling by their husbands, Iranian women suffer under unjust laws

While a new bill awaiting parliament’s approval aims to address gender discrimination and stop violence against women, it falls short in guaranteeing Iranian women equal rights.

The travel ban and arrest of one woman made headlines around the world last month after a new video surfaced of Princess Latifa in captivity. She was banned from traveling and placed under house arrest by her own father, Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in 2018. During the same month, the Iranian national women's ski team left Tehran for Italy to participate in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships without its head coach, Samira Zargari, because Zargari's husband barred her from leaving the country.

What the husband did is completely legal in Iran, and the team’s efforts to challenge his decision were fruitless. Officials involved also sought his permission but to no avail. The common denominator between the two cases and many more that do not necessarily make headlines is the culture of patriarchy that exists in the region. The law, which is put in place by men, only encourages and enforces discrimination against women.

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