Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences E/CN.4/2006/61/Add.3 para 75 (c) Full recommendation: In order to promote and support the empowerment of women in all spheres of life, it is recommended that the Government: Provide special programmes for women from minority groups who suffer multiple forms of discrimination. Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1 Article 3 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (“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 Iran is entrusted with defining and determining the framework for what specifically constitutes these so-called “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 this task. While the aforementioned constitutional provisions supposedly safeguard the rights of women, including protection from discrimination, such legal guarantees only exist as long as they are in conformity with “Islamic criteria.” The scope for interpretation under the qualifications within the Constitution such as “in conformity with Islamic criteria” has often resulted in provisions that discriminate based on various protected 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 boys under the criminal justice system. One of the most telling examples is the age of criminal responsibility, which is set at nine lunar years for girls (equivalent to eight years, nine months) and fifteen lunar years for boys (equivalent to fourteen years, seven months).3 Additionally, a large number of provisions under the Iranian Civil Code are discriminatory towards women and girls based on their gender. These provisions notably include the legal age of 1 CCPR.2.1.S.1; CCPR.26.1.S.1; CCPR.27.1.S.1; CCPR.2.1.P.2; CCPR.26.1.P.1; CCPR.27.2.P.1; CCPR.2.2.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.2 2 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf 3 Articles 140, 146 and 147 of the Islamic Penal Code, https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamicpenal-code/ 1

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