Iran: Religious authority says women are not created for serious jobs

Interview with Hassan Mamdouhi, member of the Community of Teachers of the Qom Seminary on the role of women in society: (Rouznameh state-run website – December 12, 2017)

Question: One of the topics that has been discussed for some years is the presence of women in stadiums; some clerics criticize the issue of men and women being in different stands…
Hassan Mamdouhi: At the stadium and during football or wrestling matches, when a woman looks at the bare body of a man, she gets stimulated. Can a man and woman be somewhere together in a corner and not get stimulated?… It’s not as though if we put a woman and the man together, then it would become normal for them. If they are given a bit of freedom, there will be problems.

Question: If promoting virtue and prohibiting vice is carried out by people,  then why can’t people in a stadium manage a football game…?
Answer: It should be noted that some movements by men are very stimulating for women. Just like when men watch women’s soccer. It is the same for women. We do not agree at all for wrestling to be broadcasted on television and for ladies to watch it. This is entirely forbidden. Is it right for ladies to wrestle and for men to watch? The same goes for men’s games.

Question: Women have many political and social demands, for example, the issue of women ministers was raised in the government, but it was alleged that religious authorities and scholars opposed this.
Answer: In general, it has been proven that in all countries, the political system is in the hands of men. If women are in politics, they are marginalized. Women were not created for this kind of work. Women are very fit for educational systems, preserving generations or family environments, but they are not suitable for the Ministry of War.

Question: How about for the Ministry of Education?
Answer: They are not suitable for the Ministry of Education either.

Question: We have about 10-15 million young women. These women are concerned about whether they can be present in the society and whether they will be given opportunities.
Answer: We have the experience of Europe in this regard which has not been successful thus far.

Question: But Ms. Merkel in Germany, or Ms. May in England  achieved the highest political status.
Answer: Merkel is not successful in Germany nor is Theresa May successful in England. They are not as powerful and successful as former French President Mitterrand. Europe has experienced the issue of women and has serious problems now. We will not repeat this experience.

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