Woman have made great strides in modern Iran. While oppression and the access to few (if any) rights were the norm for many years, modern Iran is very different. Modern Iran is now living three generations after the Iranian Revolution, and the rights and lives of women have shifted substantially in their favor. Women now make up approximately two-thirds of Iranian university students, and the number of women working has more than doubled: shifting from 13 % to 32.5%, in accordance with the World Bank.
The so-called “White Revolution” which started in 1962, saw the shah implement and impose important women’s rights, including voting rights, and especially the passing of the Family Protection Law, which confronted issues of marriage, divorce, and child custody, moving laws into an equal playing field, rather than giving women no rights and no say. The law saw the following changes: husbands and wives had to attend court for divorces proceedings, polygamy was no longer allowed for husbands, grounds for divorce was granted to women on the same level they were for men, rather than following Shi’I law, where the husband would always be granted custody of children, and women now had the right to equally fight for custody.
However, although great advances have pushed women forward, there are still clear disparities seen between men and women: they are restricted to the back of busses, have separate cars on subways (though, arguably this is done to protect them from unwanted touches and advances of men), and sexual harassment runs rampant throughout the country.