Concluding Observation Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 9
Full recommendation:
The State party should amend the Civil Code and further amend the draft Family Protection
Law, to (a) abolish the requirement for a father’s or paternal grandfather’s approval to legalize
a marriage; (b) grant women equal rights to divorce; (c) award equal custody rights to the
mother, including after a child reaches the age of seven or if she remarries; (d) award
guardianship of a child to the mother in the case of the father’s death; (e) grant women the same
inheritance rights as men; (f) remove the legal obligation for a woman to be obedient to her
husband; (g) remove the requirement for a husband’s approval when a woman intends to leave
the country; (h) prohibit polygamy; and (i) remove the power of a man to prohibit his wife from
entering employment. The State party should also adopt legislation giving Iranian women the
right to transmit their nationality to their children.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
As of February 2021, the State has taken action on just one of the Committee’s
recommendations: in 2019 the State amended the civil code to give Iranian women who are
married to non-Iranian men the right to transmit their nationality to their children. However,
Iranian women and men are still not on equal footing with respect to their ability to confer
nationality—men, regardless of the nationality of their wife, can automatically pass nationality to
their children. By contrast, women married to a non-national must apply to pass nationality to
their children and also undergo a security check by the Ministry of Intelligence.
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
with determining and defining the framework of what constitutes “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
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.23.4.S.1.; CCPR.23.3.S.1.;
CRC.8.1.S.1.; ESCR.2.2.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