Amid Glaring Gender & Minority Inequality, Iranian Society Rises Up

Last week, we brought you the tragic story of young, beautiful Parivash Akbarzadeh, who recently died in a car accident while driving the fast, flashy Porsche of Mohammad Hossein Rabbani-Shirazi, the upperclass scion of a prominent clerical family. The story highlighted the ostentatious (and often un-Islamic) lifestyle of Iran’s ruling elite, which apparently busies itself with perpetuating the very inequality Iran’s Islamic Revolution purported to end – all while Iran’s middle class struggles under the weight of sanctions. So it was hardly surprising that the tragedy ignited social media protest throughout Iran.

And yet, Akbarzadeh’s story, and what it says about the lives (and deaths) of less-than-privileged Iranian women, shouldn’t have come as a shock – after all, she lived under the same regime that executed a 26-year-old woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, for killing a member of Iran’s intelligence service after he apparently attempted to rape her.

Now, if some reports are to be believed, it would seem that Jabbari’s story has recurred: last week, a 25-year-old woman, Farinaz Khosravani, jumped from a fourth floor-room of the hotel in the northern city of Mahabad where she worked as a maid, allegedly after an Intelligence Ministry official who was staying in the room raped her or threatened to do so. Being a woman and a maid she was also Kurdish, part of a minority group, and violent protests erupted in the wake of her death (deemed an “honor suicide”) – with the hotel itself eventually being set aflame by the rioters.

The unrest, in which several protesters were injured, made it to the English-language media, too: The Daily Beast published a report on it (sourced from Iran Wire) under the tagline “horrific,” crowned with a photo of Khosravani; Al-Jazeera also devoted some coverage to the incident, focusing on the “violent protest” . Over at The New York Times, Thomas Erdbrink tried to separate fact from fiction, carefully attributing the allegation that it was a government official who had threatened to rape Khosravani to “news on the internet.”

Whatever the truth may be, could the outcry over these recent incidents indicate that Iranian society is no longer willing to tolerate the mistreatment of women (and minorities, and other ordinary citizens) at the hands of the clerical regime – be it politically, economically or physically?

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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Posted in Human Rights, Media Coverage
5 comments on “Amid Glaring Gender & Minority Inequality, Iranian Society Rises Up
  1. […] to our recent focus on human rights issues (which happened to coincide with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s laughable […]

  2. […] to our recent focus on human rights issues (which happened to coincide with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s laughable […]

  3. […] have also drawn the attention of the Western press: the raging social, economic and gender inequality in Iran, its mistreatment of minorities, and the unabashed hypocrisy of its clerical […]

  4. […] really been about – not the fact that Iran awards minorities equal rights and equal opportunity (it doesn’t), but the fact that you may be able to go far as a recognized Christian in Iran, but only if you […]

  5. […] the younger generation of Iran’s clerical elite is associated more with fancy cars, designer clothes, and social media profiles (on platforms that aren’t banned, of course – and […]

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