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Traditions Thrown Out of the Window: Modern Iranian Women Opting to Remain Single and Getting Divorces

Fahimeh Azadi is among the new generation of Iranian women who are having none of it when it comes to customary marriage and traditions in her homeland. She is among the growing number of Iranian women defying both their parents’ wish and conventional Islamic beliefs by wanting to remain single. According to Mizan, a reputable news agency, over 3 million educated Iranian women over 30 are unmarried.

Now, at 35, Azadi has been involved in several failed relationships and has opted to remain single because most Iranian men tend to hold her back. They want a home wife whose only job is to stay in the house and take care of the kids. According to Azadi, most Iranian men have no place for strong modern women who are financially stable and have careers.

IRNA, a state news agency reported that marriages in 2015 in the country had dropped by 3.4% while divorces had increased by 4.2%. That trend is set to continue with ‘white marriages’ on the rise – unmarried couples living together. Azadi’s sister sums up the marriage situation in Iran. She is a successful lawyer who had been married for a couple of years and has a ten-year-old son. She ended her marriage to her husband because she felt he stalled her career development. Her husband was opposed to her going on business trips and attending parties. He also pushed her to quit her job in favor of staying at home.

Official statistics in the country indicate that over 60% of university students in Iran are women. They want to become independent of men. They also want exposure to privileges of a career and having an income. These liberal women are struggling to find men ready to accept them. From her experience of dating men, Azadi said that most Iranian men are still behind in their thinking and lack an open mind to accept a modern Islam woman.

She continued to say that older men prefer dating younger women than her. Younger guys will date her at her age for sex and because she can afford to lavish them with regular outings. With laws still subjugating women as property to men, women have reacted by asserting themselves as equals to their male counterparts. Women are coming out and speaking frankly about sex and relationships, something that has been unacceptable in the Islam society since the formation of the religion.

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