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A Recipe For A Campaign Wedding

A bride and groom cast their votes in Iran's presidential election last June.

A bride and groom cast their votes in Iran's presidential election last June.

Blogger “Dokhtareh Khorshid” (Daughter of the Sun) explains how to turn a wedding into a “campaign wedding” that helps fight legal discrimination against women and ensures that women have the same rights as men after marriage. ...

For those of you who are curious to know, there is a recipe for a campaign wedding! It is available to anyone and doesn't cost a lot and provides a platform on which to start your lives as a couple in equity (opposite to most marriages in Iran).

First of all, you must find a companion for life, which I leave up to you. I am sure you won't have any trouble with that. ...

The second step -- a quite important one -- is setting the conditions before marriage. Under Iranian law, women lose most of their rights, including the right to pursue an education, the right to exit the country, the right to work, the right to choose where to live, etc. Even the custody of the child is first offered to the man and afterwards to his family. ... On the other hand, the economic burden of life lies on the man’s shoulders.

A woman has to go through unimaginable trouble to appeal for a divorce, not knowing whether it’ll be approved or not, while a man may easily divorce his wife or marry once more without divorcing his first wife.

Well, you’re probably worried by now. Yes, that is what marriage is in the eyes of the law. It is not all ceremonies, desserts, and dances.

But what is the solution? It is the conditions set before marriage, ultimately avoiding discrimination against both sides. These conditions comprise all the rights that a woman loses at marriage -- education, etc. Even the right of divorce. The conditions are written down before the ceremony and both sides willingly sign the document.

This is how the rights of a man and a woman become equal even after marriage.

In return for this agreement, it is fair to relinquish the so-called "bride money," called "mehriye." The mehriye was once the only weapon a woman had against the power invested in her man by law. The mehriye can total thousands of dollars, but one has to go through the hassle of family court for months to get it. Or in case the man is not financially strong, the money is payable in installments. There have been cases where men are imprisoned for not paying this money, but their detention doesn’t help the woman get the money any faster.

The third phase is the responsibility of the bride. After these pre-marriage conditions, wives need to celebrate their wedding, be happy, smile, and not be afraid of being humorous, dancing like crazy, and getting all the guests on the dance floor. What is it with the serious faces and these fake smiles only meant for the cameras? It is not as if you are marrying against your will. Celebrate and do not leave the groom alone on this night.

Congratulations. Your wedding is all prepared. Do you now know what the happiness of these days is all about? It is about weddings in equity. The joy of not being worried about what could happen on the first day after the ceremony is behind this happiness. These matrimonies that do not insult the intellect or the rights of the other side are the cause of this happiness.

The weddings these days are the ceremony of equity.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.