Ayatollah Khamenei’s Opinions on Women’s Issues…!
A basic principle in analyzing women’s rights: Equality is not tantamount to Justice
Apr 19, 2014If we want our outlook towards the issue of women to be healthy, reasonable and precise, the first condition is that we should completely clear our minds of the statements that westerners make about women – about their employment, management and sexual equality. One of the greatest mistakes of western thoughts about the issues of women is this sexual equality. Justice is a legitimate concept, but equality is sometimes legitimate and sometimes illegitimate. Why should we separate an individual who has been built for a particular domain – in terms of one’s natural make up, whether physical or emotional – from that particular domain and drag her towards another domain which Allah the Exalted has built for another make-up? Why should we do this? What reason do we have for doing so? What kind of sympathy is this? Why should women be entrusted with carrying out male tasks? What kind of honor is to have women carry out male tasks? I am sorry that sometimes women and ladies themselves show sensitivity over this issue. They ask, “What is our difference with men?” Well, there is no difference between men and women on many issues. Islam looks at men and women as human beings. There is no difference between men and women on the issue of humanity, spiritual positions and the many intellectual and scientific talents that they have. But they have two different molds. Each of these molds is shaped for a particular task. Of course, there are certain common tasks among them. Is it a service if we separate either of these two molds from their domain and put it in another domain? This is what westerners are doing. Many of their international conventions result from this outlook.
Women are best suited to solve women’s issues
Apr 19, 2014The issue of women is an important issue. The best people who can follow up and solve this issue are women themselves. We do not suffer from a lack of educated, broad-minded, talented, literary and artistic women. Thankfully today, there are many such women in our country. As I mentioned before, we had never had such a large number of educated, knowledgeable and outstanding women in the history of our country, neither in seminary nor in academic environments. We had never had so many woman writers, poets and researchers in different fields of study. Fortunately today, we have such women thanks to the Islamic Republic. These things have been achieved in the shade of Islam, the Islamic Republic and Imam’s (r.a.) enlightening outlook towards the issue of women. This was pointed out in the statements of the lady who delivered a speech as well. We had never enjoyed such a condition in our country. We should thank God for His blessings and we should ask Him to increase these blessings. We should thank Him for these blessings and the way to thank Him is what I pointed out in this meeting. We should look at the divine guidance and forget about the materialistic views which are promoted today by westerners and the Americans. They are very vile and they make extravagant claims. Besides, they have a propagandist outlook. If someone speaks against them, they launch a propagandist attack. But you should not pay attention to their propaganda and, by Allah’s favor, you should move forward
Equity vs. equality: justice-based discrimination
Apr 19, 2014The issue of women’s employment is not among the main issues. Of course, we are not at all opposed to women’s employment. I myself am not at all opposed to their employment and their management as long as it does not clash with these main issues. If there is a clash, then the main issues have a priority. Naturally, one of the tasks that should be carried out in this third area is that we should see what jobs are suitable for women’s characteristics. There are some jobs which are not suitable for women’s make-up. Therefore, women should not pursue such jobs. One of the tasks is that we should not impose on women those fields of study which lead to these jobs. Some people want to create uproar by saying that there is discrimination against women over the issue of universities, education and other such issues. Well, such discrimination is not bad in some areas. Discrimination is bad when it is against justice. Imagine that in a football team, you tell one player to play in attack, you tell another to play in defense and another to keep goal. Well, this is discrimination. If the player whose duty is to defend plays in attack, the team will naturally lose. If the forward is entrusted with goalkeeping – which is a task he does not know how to carry out – then, the team will naturally lose. This is discrimination, but it is justice-based. In such discrimination, you entrust different tasks to individuals. Therefore, we should see what fields of study are suitable for women by paying attention to the lofty goals that have been specified for them. We should prepare the ground for women to study such fields. We should not force them to study certain fields just because of their performance and their grade in the entrance exam. Such
Women should enjoy freedom to develop their talents
Apr 19, 2014In my opinion, the main issue – or let us say, one of the main issues – is the issue of home and family. The basis of the issue is women’s security and opportunities in the family environment and their home-making is for cultivating their talents. Nothing should prevent them from studying, reading, learning and writing. Of course, this is related to those women who are interested in such things. The ground should be prepared for them to carry out these tasks.
Women are not of secondary importance and are not servants
Apr 19, 2014The typical image of women at home is the image of a creature of secondary importance who is responsible for rendering services to others. This image is shared by many people. Some people openly express it and some people do not, although they believe it in their hearts. This is the exact opposite of what Islam has mentioned. I have repeatedly quoted this well-known hadith: “Women are like flowers. They are not servants” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 31]. The Arabic word “ghahraman” means one’s employee or servant. One example is: “He said to his ghahraman to do such and such a task” [Speaking in Arabic]. Another example is that a person who has many properties and lands orders his ghahraman to carry out such and such a task. This is the meaning of ghahraman. This hadith says that we should not think women are the servants of the house and that they should only do household chores. This is not the case. Well, notice that this is one of the several chapters about women: the issue of respecting women’s work at home. They are not obligated to do household chores and their work can be bought. That is to say, they can receive money for the work that they do at home. These are the things which exist in Islam and Islamic fiqh. As the lady who delivered a speech in this meeting pointed out, our fiqh is really advanced and outstanding. Some people highlight some aspects of it and forget about the rest. Besides, they completely distort certain aspects of it in order to make it compatible with western deceitful and fallacious thoughts. We have witnessed this as well.
Women’s health, security, tranquility and respect should be ensured in the family
Apr 19, 2014Paying attention to the issue of family – particularly the issue of women’s health, security, tranquility and respect in the family environment – is one of the main issues. We have a number of main issues. This is one of them. You should see what factors take away women’s tranquility and peace of mind inside the family. You should try to remove these factors with legal ways and with promotional and different other methods. This is the basis of the issue. Women are a source of tranquility at home. They are a source of tranquility for men and children including girls and boys. If women themselves do not enjoy psychological tranquility, they cannot share their tranquility with their family. A woman who is humiliated, insulted and pressured because of her job cannot be the lady of the house. She cannot be the manager of the family. This is while women are, in fact, managers of the family. This is the main issue. This is one of the main issues which has not received enough attention in our living environments – whether in the past or in the present time. This issue should receive enough attention.
We should clear our minds of Western approach on the issue of women
Apr 19, 2014Westerners misunderstood the issue of women. They acted in the wrong way and they promoted this misunderstanding and these wrong, deviant and deadly actions throughout the world like common currency in a country. Besides, their propaganda apparatus, which is very broad in scope, does not allow those individuals who have different opinions from theirs to express them. If you want to find a correct solution on the issue of women and accompany it with its major requirements and if you want to move forward and achieve results in the long run, you should clear your minds of western thoughts about the issue of women. I am not saying that we should be uninformed about their ideas. This is not what I am saying. We are not advocates of ignorance. I myself am an advocate of knowledge and familiarity, but we should completely reject the authority of these thoughts and ideas. Western thoughts and opinions on the issue of women cannot be a source of happiness and guidance for human societies at all. First, their thoughts are based on materialistic and non-divine epistemology. Well, this is wrong. Any knowledge-based and intellectual school of thought which is based on materialistic understanding and belief is naturally wrong. The outlook towards the truths of creation should be known, understood and followed up together with the outlook towards divine epistemology, belief in the existence and power of God and divine presence and authority. Therefore, because the basis and root of western thoughts are materialistic, they are wrong.
Oppressing women still exists in the so-called civilized societies
Apr 19, 2014No one should think that the issue of oppressing women is particular to backward or, say, savage societies. This is not the case. If today’s so-called civilized societies do not oppress women more than other societies, they do not definitely oppress them less. Well, these are important issues which should be attended to and worked on.
Willpower, firm determination and patience of some women makes everyone humble
Apr 19, 2014Besides, the emergence of the completely outstanding identity and the independent character of Iranian women in the arena of jihadi activities – such as the Sacred Defense Era and its aftermath until today – makes everyone humble. We have had so many wives of martyrs and disabled war veterans, so many mothers of martyrs and so many relatives of those people who laid down their lives in the way of God. The strong willpower, firm determination and patience of these women make everyone humble. I really have a sense of humility whenever I meet with these outstanding women. I have many meetings with the mothers and wives of martyrs and disabled war veterans. When a self-sacrificing lady spends her entire life managing and improving the life of a disabled war veteran for the sake of God, this is not a minor achievement. It is easy to say this, but it is very difficult to do it. A mother who has offered two, three, four martyrs in the way of God and who has stood firm despite this, advises us to stand firm as well. One really feels humility in the face of such greatness. These are the realities about the women of our society which are very glorious and important realities. Well, this is thankfully the bright and shining part of the issue of women in our country.
The post-Revolution’s progress of Iranian women has been unprecedented
Apr 19, 2014Today, when we take a look, we see that the name of our women have been written on many books including scientific, research-based, historical, literature, political and artistic books. The writings of our women – whether articles or books – are among the best writings in the Islamic Republic today. This is really a source of honor and it is unprecedented in our history.
Modesty: A sign of respect for men and women
Apr 19, 2014In Western outlook, women are a means for satisfying lust. This is undeniable. If someone makes this claim, some people may create uproar. They may say, “No, this is not the case”. However, when one takes a look at their lives, one sees that this is the dominant outlook. In social environments, the more women appear in an immodest way, the more appropriate it will be. They do not have the same opinion about men. In official meetings, men should dress up. They should wear ties and suits. They should dress formally on such occasions. But in these formal meetings, women should appear in a different way. This has no other philosophy and reason except that women should entertain men’s lustful eyes. Today, the Western world is like this. It is practically the greatest oppression which the Western world shows towards women.
Jimmy Carter: Scores of girls are sold as slaves in U.S.
Apr 19, 2014I am not after finding newspaper clippings. But it was yesterday or the day before yesterday that I found something in a newspaper. I found it to be a very important writing. I have brought it to this meeting to read it for you. A book written by Jimmy Carter – the former president of America – has been published which is named “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, And Power”. Jimmy Carter says in this book, “Every year, 100,000 girls are sold as slaves in America where the owner of a brothel can buy girls – who are usually Latin American or African – at only 1000 dollars”. He also refers to the rapes which occur in colleges where only one case out of 25 cases is reported. He goes on to say that only one percent of rapists are put to trial in the army. One cries when one reads such things. We can see many such writings in newspapers. I see such writings as well, but I never base my opinions on them. However, these are realities. Jimmy Carter is a well-known personality after all and this is his book. What kind of situation is this? What kind of respect – towards women – is this? A well-known and famous Western writer writes a novel for dignifying prostitution. This nove has been translated in Persian as well. This book points out how sex dealers go to Latin-American countries and take girls with them to sell them in such centers. They do thisl by giving the girls empty promises. Of course, this is related to Europe, not America. This book and this novel tries to pretend that prostitution is a dignified job. This is the Western culture towards women. This is their respect towards women.