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Permission to Travel — A Nightmare for Many Iranian Women



Photo of a woman walking past a mural in downtown Tehran
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Parisa has a Ph.D in chemistry, and has been the head of her household for the last 15 years. She is one of many Iranian women who have lived abroad for years, but who travels back to her homeland regularly. Recently, during one of her trips to Iran, she was confronted with one of the country’s discriminatory laws against women — the law stipulating that women need their husband’s permission to travel.
Parisa says she will never forget what she had to go through — whole days spent in the passport office, the consular office, the court and police stations. She explained what happened before she came up against this legislation. “As the political and economic situation got worse in Iran, we left the country,” she said. “Immigration damaged our marriage. In the meantime, my mother got sick, so I renewed my passport to visit her in Iran. Then the ‘husband’s permission’ law stopped me from leaving the country.”

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