Zohre Amin

It may be too late for me, but I will sign it for the sake of next generation

Translated by Golrokh Sepasdar

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Recently, I visited a friend, who has about 76 years of experience behind her. After a while of chatting about her health, our conversation moved toward domestic and marital problems of her family members. At this point, I remembered to speak to her about the importance of changing many of current laws and began to talk with her about the “One Million-signature Campaign. She was uncharacteristically quite, listening to my every word intently. With every word I uttered her frown of skepticism grew more intensely across her face. I began to worry that perhaps I had raised an unholy topic against her core belief. However, as worried as I was, I could not stop there. When I finished talking about the tenth legal measure in need of change, I finally became quiet awaiting her reaction. After a brief pause, she bluntly asked for the petition, “has anybody dared to sign this?” Without answering, I began to search inside my purse for the forms. I had two forms in my handbag, one had seven signatures and the other one had no more than three. I handed her the second one because I thought she might tear it up in objection. I thought to myself how easily I would lose these three signatures, and remembered how a few days earlier, I had asked my peers why each form had room for only ten signatures. I now had realized the wisdom behind it. At this point, my elderly friend put her reading glasses on, and in a firm tone, asked for a pen. To my amazement, she signed the petition, and said, “even though, it maybe too late for me I really appreciate your effort.” I asked her why it would be too late for her, and she began to tell her story. “There were six of us, girls, and three boys. All three brothers were able to pursue their education according to their own will, and became doctors, while the three sisters were kept from studying beyond the basics. It was the will of my father that the girls had to be married off, despite our personal dedications, talents, and family fortune. The two oldest daughters were able to finish middle school, and it was due to our insistence that the younger daughters were able to get their high school diplomas. When it came to marriage, our brothers were free to choose whomever they pleased, including non-Iranian wives. Yet, my father forced all of his daughters to go through marriage ceremonies with men they did not love.

While the brothers enjoyed happy lives with their families, traveling abroad, attending social events and parties, the six sisters were each imprisoned by men who demanded cooking, cleaning, and childbearing. When my father passed away, the brothers took majority of the inheritance and kept us girls quiet with the small token. We were further burdened by the harsh words and sarcastic remarks of our husbands, who had partially married us for our father’s fortune. Now, it is too late for me, but I am pleased to know that my signature may pave the future for younger women, so they do not have to suffer as I did.

The Farsi Version of the Article



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