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Iranian Ayatollah Criticizes Working Women

An influential spiritual leader in Iran has criticized what he described as the boom in working women, blaming the policies of President Hassan Rohani.

"Why do people always insist that women work, although so many of our men are unemployed," said Ayatollah Seyyed Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad, the leading preacher in the central city of Isfahan.

In an Islamic country, men should support women and not the other way round, he said in comments quoted by Iranian media on December 5.

He accused Rohani of pursuing policies that promote women, including encouraging them to work in politics.

Working women had gained independence and this had led to an increase in the divorce rate, Tabatabai-Nejad said, adding that the job market should prioritize men and thereby avoid marital problems.

Tabatabai-Nejad suggested as a solution a ban on women working in ministries, in companies, or as shop assistants.

Based on reporting by dpa and Mehr