Persepolis ~ Broken Promises


Eftalia Economou, Writer

Broken Promises

According to Iranian Fundamentalists, “…women should be pushed up against a wall and f***ed, and then thrown into the garbage,” (Satrapi 74). Declarations such as the ones found in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis have led me to my concern over Iranian women’s rights.

During the Islamic Revolution, Iranian women were only permitted a modicum of negligible rights, while their husbands were in command and “legally marrying up to four women at a time” (Ebadi). When their supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, took control of Iran in 1978, he failed to honor his promise to grant equal rights to all citizens. In turn, he allowed Iran’s repressive regime to undermine its women’s rights. My views of Iranian women’s rights were justified after my research when information about policies such as “[m]arried women cannot travel without their husband’s permission” (Ebadi) surfaced.

The plight of Iranian women has been highlighted by my reading of Persepolis, as they don’t have the same opportunities as females in the United States. Many women have suffered during the Iranian Revolution, but they learned one lesson: they are best defended by their courage.  As a modern thinker, Marji’s mother believed in the rights of women. Having seen her mother protest frequently for her rights, young Satrapi followed suit. In her mother’s words, “She needs to start learning to defend her rights as a woman right now!” (Satrapi 76). As Marji’s mother observed, women were neglected and invisible during the Revolution, but their involvement in the demonstrations illustrated their courage. Although the world has changed, Iranian women still face discrimination in legislation today when it comes to marriage, inheritance, and child custody. They should not be regarded as an exclusion by the Iranian government. As long as Iran stifles its women’s potential, it cannot thrive as a nation.