Iran’s Supreme Leader claims gender equality is 'Zionist plot' aiming to corrupt role of women in society
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a meeting of religious speakers that Iranians should resist feminist ideas and instead hold the Prophet Mohamed’s daughter Fatimah as their ideal. “Making women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most likely among Zionist plots aiming to destroy the society,” he said, according to a translation on the Shia Muslim leader’s official website.
“Today, Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the corruption which it has brought about.”
Khamenei claimed that men and women are equal in the “ascendance of spiritual positions, the power of leadership, and the capability to lead humankind”, but that some tasks for women “collapse and humiliate” their primary roles as housewives and mothers. A report by the government-controlled Mehr news agency said the Supreme Leader “expressed hope that views of those who raised similar [gender equality] issues inside Iran were not based on the Western misconception”.
Iranian religious leaders frequently cast pushes towards gender equality as part of conspiracy by the West or enemy “Zionists” in Israel.