Excerpt #4: Iranian Leader Ayatollah Khamenei (2013)
Today, the Iranian woman can enter the field of science… while preserving the religion, chastity, piety, dignity, grace, personality and reverence of a typical Muslim woman. There are, among you, many female students, professors and scholars. A woman might also enter the field of religious sciences and information without any obstacles. Among you, there are many seminarians, students, instructors and professors of religious sciences who deal with Islamic fiqh and religious insight. Our great Imam [Khomeini] also highly regarded this issue and gave an order to establish this institute of Qom. Today a woman in our country is able to participate in different activities including politics, social and jihadi activities, helping people and the Revolution and appear in different fields while preserving her grace, dignity and Islamic hijab…
Write a three to four paragraph short-answer essay considering the following points:
- What are some of the similarities and differences regarding the role of women, as expressed by the political leaders above?
- Consider issues like education, work, parenting, family planning, political participation, etc.
- How are women described or treated as individuals, members of families, or members of society? How are the struggles and roles of women tied into broader social, economic, or political realities?
- How do cultural or religious beliefs factor into these statements about women’s roles?
- How are these perspectives either positive or negative for the social progress and general equality? What are some of the nuances or cultural differences detectable?