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Iranian parliament receives petition to scrap polygamy PDF Print E-mail

Source: Radio Zamaneh

A group of women's rights activists delivered a petition with five thousand signatures to the Iranian parliament urging the legislative body to "bar polygamy."  ILNA reports that the petition was delivered by 40 women who called on the parliament to halt al efforts in "promoting temporary marriages and polygamy."

Photo from "Four Wives One Man" - A film by Nahid Persson

One of the activists announced that their efforts in the past week to meet with the parliament's Legal and Judicial Commission had failed but the secretariat of the parliament had finally accepted the petition today.

According to this report, efforts to collect more signatures continue and other women's groups will deliver them to the parliamentary office in the coming days.

The Legal and Judicial Commission of the parliament is set to review the controversial articles of the Family Protection Bill regarding temporary marriages, polygamy and lump-sum alimony (mehrieh) on Tuesday.

Women's activists along with a group of former women parliamentarians pushed the parliament to review these articles last month.

Women's rights websites also published a letter signed by over 330 "men defending equal rights."

The signatories state that the articles of this bill are discriminatory and "while they degrade women, they are also an insult to men because the proposed law presumes that men are only motivated by their sexual desires."

The statement goes on to add that they believe men must struggle alongside women for equal gender rights.

The Family Protection Bill was introduced into the parliament three years ago at which time protests from women's groups forced the lawmakers to shelve it. However, in the past months, Iranian hardliners have managed to re-introduce it into the parliament and re-ignite the controversy.


"The Movie Offers a poignant and occasionally hilarious glimpse into an institution rarely seen from the outside - marriage."

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Dir. of Programming, SILVERDOCS



From Nahid Persson, the filmmaker of the award-winning Prostitution Behind the Veil, comes an intimate portrait of a polygamist family in a rural

Iranian village. Persson reveals the intricacies of the relationships between the four wives, their husband, their astoundingly free-spoken motherin-law and their numerous children. Sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking, this film follows the daily lives of the wives whose situation

has turned them into both bitter rivals and coconspirators against their abusive husband.


Persson's camera unobtrusively and beautifully captures the range of the family's interactions - from peaceful, pastoral scenes of a family picnic, to the temporary chaos caused by a broken faucet in the kitchen, to a furtive, whispered conversation between two wives about the latest beating. The women's work - making bread, weaving carpets, milking and herding the sheep - provide the background to their frank conversations. Avoiding sensationalism and sentimentality, this film provides unique insights into the practice of polygamy and its effect on the women









Nahid Persson



Setareh Persson & Nahid Persson



Bernhard Winkler

Nahid Persson



Setareh Persson




Krister Linder



Jan Alvermark


Director Biography


Born in Iran, Nahid Persson immigrated to Sweden in the 1980's. After studying microbiology, she founded a local radio station. In 1993, Persson began her filmmaking career and enrolled at Film- och TV Skolan. Her film, Prostitution Behind the Veil, won first prize at the Marseille Festival International du Documentaire.






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