responsible for such task. While the aforementioned provisions supposedly safeguard the human rights of women and protect them from discrimination, such legal guarantees exist as long as they are in conformity with “Islamic criteria.” The room of 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 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 of fourteen years, seven months).3 Additionally, a large number of provisions under the Iranian Civil Code are discriminatory towards women. These provisions notably include the legal age of marriage,4 the share of inheritance,5 and the right to divorce.6 In marriage, the Civil Code provides rights to the husband over those of the wife,7 notably by establishing that the position of the ‘head of the family’ is the exclusive prerogative of the husband. Under Iranian law the husband is entitled to control aspects of his wife’s life8 and demand that she performs her ‘duties.’9 Although not challenging the discriminatory legal framework described above, the Government engaged in steps addressing the status of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran. By the order of the President, the Supreme Administrative Council reportedly decided to require the Government to allocate 30% of the managerial positions to women. Additionally, the Deputy-President for women and family affairs has drafted a document on the promotion of the status of women and the family through identifying the indicators of gender balance, and consultation with the civil society. The Government also established a National Task Force on the Empowerment of Female Heads of Households in the field of development of employment and entrepreneurship. The Government reportedly increased the quota of women in recruitment of government departments and launched the Women's Business Development and Acceleration Center which aims at “strengthening rural women's associations and cooperation” as well as “entrepreneurship 3 Criminal responsibility, Articles 140, 146 and 147 of the Islamic Penal Code, 2013 4 Article 1041, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 5 Articles 861 to 948, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 6 Article 1133, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 7 Articles 1102 to 1119, 1133 to 1142, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 8 For instance, under Article 1117 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran “The husband can prevent his wife from occupations or technical work which is incompatible with the family interests or the dignity of himself or his wife.” 9 Article 1108, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 2

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