Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/71/418 para 84
Full recommendation
The Special Rapporteur welcomes recent efforts to address both violence against women and
inequities in education and economic participation. He encourages the Government to continue
to amend laws in line with its legal obligations and pledges made during the Universal Periodic
Review to protect the equal and full enjoyment by women of their civil, political, social and
economic rights, including the right to freedom of movement, the right to work and the right to
be free from discrimination, especially in the workplace.

Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The Iranian legal framework contains numerous provisions which directly discriminate against
women and prevent the equal and full enjoyment by women of their civil, political, social and
economic rights.
Article 3 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran stipulates that it is a duty of the State
to work towards “the abolition of all forms of undesirable discrimination and the provision of
equitable opportunities for all, in both the material and the intellectual spheres.”2 Article 20
guarantees that all citizens of Iran, men and women, enjoy the equal protection of the law and of
rights, “in conformity with the Islamic criteria.” Article 21 emphasizes that “the government
must ensure the rights of women in all respects, in conformity with Islamic criteria”. According
to Article 4 of the Constitution the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran is entrusted
to define and determine the framework of what constitutes the “Islamic criteria” or standards.
Among the 12 non-elected members of the Guardian Council, only the six male clerics directly
appointed by the Supreme Leader are responsible for such task. While the aforementioned
provisions supposedly safeguard the human rights of women and protect them from
discrimination, such legal guarantees exist only if they are in conformity with “Islamic criteria.”
The opportunity for interpretation allowed under the qualifications such as “in conformity with
Islamic criteria” has often resulted in provisions that discriminate or have a discriminatory
impact on various grounds, including gender.
The Iranian Islamic Penal Code (2013) is largely based on the Government’s interpretation of
Islamic Sharia precepts and contains provisions which directly discriminate between girls and
1
CCPR.2.3.S.1; CCPR.3.1.S.1; CCPR.3.1.S.4; CCPR.16.1.S.1; CCPR.23.2.S.1; CCPR.23.3.S.1; CCPR.23.4.S.1; CRC.8.1.S.1;
ESCR.2.2.S.1; ESCR.6.1.S.1; ESCR.6.1.S.3; CCPR.3.1.P.3; CCPR.16.1.P.1; CCPR.23.2.P.1; CCPR.2.3.P.1; CCPR.23.3.P.1;
ESCR.2.2.P.3; ESCR.6.1.P.1; CCPR.2.3.O.4; CCPR.3.1.O.4; CCPR.23.3.O.1; CRC.8.1.O.2; CCPR.2.1.O.1; ESCR.6.1.O.2
2
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf

1

Select target paragraph3