The Cardinal Times

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Iranian women also need #MeToo

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A big topic the media is covering is sexual harassment and the latest news about the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements. Sexual harassment isn’t just happening in the United States, it is  also happening in other countries, like Iran. And sexual harassment is being horribly dealt with in the Iranian legal system.

After more than 50 men in Hollywood were accused of sexual harassment, many actresses, directors and social activists gathered together to build the #TimesUp movement. But there is no such movement in Iran, where women get sexually assaulted and they don’t get justice.

According to BBC, last year a woman who worked in the English language news channel was sexually harassed by her boss. She had proof of him texting and calling her for “sexual favors,” but he denied all the accusations and she had to leave the country. There was no mention of this in any Iranian news broadcast or newspaper and this man didn’t get any punishment. There was no movement to support this woman or to be her voice. There was no #TimesUp movement to encouraging her to fight back for her dignity.

According to the New York Times, the New York group, Human Rights Watch, tried to make Iran’s justice system investigate sexual harassment cases that were covered up in 2009 but the judicial system in Iran refused to investigate the cases and threatened to arrest the victims’ families if they spoke of the assault.  

In Iran there is no support for women who have been sexually assaulted and they don’t get justice like women do in other parts of  the world. In Iran when women go to the police to press charges, they get accused for not having a good and proper Islamic veil (hijab) and get blamed for what happened.

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements haven’t heard the silent screams of Iranian women yet, but they should. It’s time for people to support women in Iran, where they are being bullied by the government, by men and by the law. Iranian women deserve to be seen and heard and they certainly deserve to talk about what’s happening to them.

Women should be the voices of each other and shout out to the world that the time is up.

 

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