Sexual dissatisfaction main cause of divorce in Iran
By Bahaar Joya
(Thomson Reuters Foundation)
In the privacy of their bedrooms in conservative Iran, Sabah's husband used to burn her breasts with cigarettes during sex, while Sarah was forced to re-enact scenes from the sadomasochist box office hit 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'
The two women are among a rising number of Iranians getting divorced, a trend that some experts attribute to women's growing confidence in speaking out about violent sex and marital rape.
"He was obsessed with the movie 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and tried to emulate the sexual methods of characters by using handcuffs and a mask," said Sarah, 29, who was married in the capital, Tehran,five years ago.
Both women declined to give their full names.
Divorce has doubled in Iran over the last decade, angering conservatives who see the 164,000 cases recorded in 2015 as an affront to the values of the Islamic Republic and worrying authorities as the birth rate is also falling. Experts point to two main drivers: more men are learning about sex through porn and imitating violent scenarios, and Iran's increasingly educated, financially independent women are less willing to put up with it.
"My husband used to have sex with me like an animal," said one London-based Iranian divorcee, whose husband raped her on their first night together.
"My baby died in the womb due to his manhandling, since I was not consenting to his sexual appetite."
Presidential spokeswoman Shahindokht Molaverdi recently told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) that "sexual dissatisfaction is the main cause of divorce in Iran".
She said, the government has set up family health clinics nationwide to counsel couples about their sex lives, especially when they are considering divorce.
Mehrdad Darvishpour, a sociology lecturer in Sweden's Malardalen University, believes the Shi'ite majority country needs to start talking about sex more openly as most men are unaware of women's needs with no sex education in schools.
"The only source of information (men) have is porn movies, which portray women as a sexual tool," he said. "They expect the same in their lives, by treating their wives as sex slaves."
Iran censors the internet, banning thousands of websites with content it regards as un-Islamic, but experts say it is easy to buy pornographic videos in local markets.
Pre-marital sex is also illegal. Sarah didn't find out about her educated husband's sexual sadism until it was too late.
"Most nights he preferred watching porn movies and then imitating them," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
Giti Pourfazel, a human rights lawyer who practiced law for about 25 years in Tehran until 2016, estimates half of divorces in Iran are due to sexual problems.
Her female clients often complained about their husbands' violence during sex, while men got angry that their wives refused to sleep with them, she said in a phone interview.
Iranian law favours the husband, who has the right to ask for a divorce. But if he is unwilling to divorce, the wife must legally prove that he is abusive, has psychological problems or is somehow unable to uphold his marriage responsibilities.
It took Sabah, whose marriage was arranged by her family, 10 years to escape the cigarette burns and violence.
"The ultra-conservative society of Khosistan considers divorce a disgrace," the 37-year-old said, referring to the southern province where she lives.
She finally succeeded by pushing for payment of her mehrieh, or dowry, which was not paid when the couple married.
Dowries in Iran have skyrocketed to tens of thousands of dollars and wives can sometimes waive outstanding payments as part of a separation settlement.
For the London-based woman, life after divorce has been a revelation.
"During those distressing years with my husband, I forgot my desires and developed negative thought about sex," she said.
"Now at the age of 50, I realized I have sexual desire and I came into a beautiful relationship here in the UK with a man."
Solution must be acceptable to Tamils Separate State is not a reasonable request - Former Army Commander, General Gerry De Silva RWP, VSV, USP
- Drugs & alcohol abuse in NE Religious reps to address issue
- Pvt hospital regulation Gazette in Feb
- 29 Lankan illegal migrants land at BIA
- NDB makes donation to Yatagara Vidyalaya, Niwithigala
- Path to reconciliation Women play major role - Dr. Udagama
- SL and Norway FOs hold consultations
- Airing SL war documentary HR activist withdraws appeal
- ‘Give the gift of life’ CCS and Katugastota Rotaracters conduct blood donation camp
- Why Pakistan is hyphenating Palestine and Kashmir The rest of the world has long distanced itself from the Islamist struggle in Kashmir – unlike Palestine
- Direct purchase of State vehicles mooted
- Trump-Palestine-Israel-Jerusalem issue SLPPFA to hold public seminar
- SL Navy assists critically ill Iranian sailor
- PEaCE fights child sexual exploitation in tourism Stakeholders discuss responsible business practices
- Cabinet approves PPP for underground Marine Drive extension Connecting Elevated Port Access Road
- Six new Ministry Secys appointed
- LG Elections SLFP hard pressed for suitable candidates – Sudarshini
- Debt ratio 79% of GDP
- Gnanasara thera meets Archbishop
- Renovation of tank in progress
- Jayasena warns errant Wildlife officials Low performance will not be tolerated
- Cost of rupee protection USD 6B depreciation in 5 years
- Lanka in foreign borrowing spree In the backdrop of falling exports
- UNP committed to free and fair polls – Sagala
- Wildlife Minister reveals racket Baby Jumbos sail overseas
- SriLankan TUs have no faith in Mgt Write to MS, Ranil and Cabinet
- SLC looking to re-launch showpiece T20 league
- 3rd Ashes Test Malan’s century lifts England
- Didn’t execute plans well -Samaraweera
- Premier League Inter Club Cricket Six Matches begin today
- CR & FC go out favourites
- CH vs Navy should be a thriller
- 2017 Macau International Kart Grand Prix Sri Lankan Pieris is champion
- Gampaha Peters win twice
- Asian Power-lifting - Masters Category Kandy’s iron man pockets gold
- MCA Inter Academy 30 Over League Rashitha 115 n.o. for Ragama CA
- PRIMA JUNIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP Weerasinghe takes clear lead
- ‘Singer Cup’ Under-19 Schools Cricket Draw in Jaffna
- Fixing claims rock Ashes series
- ‘I broke no rules’ over drugs test - Froome
- LPGA announces record prize money for 2018 campaign
- Man City set to win record
- Sharma blows Sri Lanka away
- MCA Inter Academy 30 Over League CCC CA win in a thriller
- JUNIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 Taniya and Kayla Round 1 Joint Leaders
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Cricket Vinura ton helps Mahinda beat Dharmapala
- SEC to mandate dual roles for CEOs & Chairmen
- Alumex to commence EU & Aus exports
- Fiscal Policy Act remains toothless: Governor
- Samantha Rajapaksa gives up all AMW posts
- 'Publish excuses for corporate governance non-compliance'
- Jetwing Symphony IPO oversubscribed
- Shares recover from an 8-month low
- ‘Spot’ In freefall, closes at Rs 153.20/30
- Asian markets lower after Fed hikes interest rates
- SL tech solution BoardPAC enters Australia
- Nimal Perera’s NP capital buys 50% of digital disrupter Arimac for Rs 250M
- SriLankan wins Gold for 3rd straight year
- SLTDA wins e-Swabhimani Award for online licensing
- HNB Assurance wins Gold in Insurance category
- Sense Micro Distributors partners Chinese video surveillance company
- RDB Bank to give relief for coconut cultivation and Industry
- Electro-mobility in Sri Lanka
- Disney - Fox deal a media and entertainment earthquake
- Developing strong ‘people skills’ for success
- Abans to host ‘Christmas Delight’ promo
- LAW OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE Trials by High Court
- Trinity CA on tour to India
- National Prosperity Development Planning and Budgets
- Paradise Gains
- Crossover Season has begun
- Canada’s pivot to China hits a snag
- Brexit: The UK’s four options
- When the heart calls out, on a starry night
- On eve of climate summit Macron reminds Trump of ‘responsibility to history’
- FGM/FGC Victims speak out
- SLFP supports devolution of power – Lasantha Alagiyawanna
- If Bond scammers are not prosecuted…President will lose his credibility –Bandula Gunawardena
- All information security issues are not cyber crimes
- We want a change in Muslim representation– Hasen Ali
- Railway tracks cheaper than highways
- Blessed are the peacemakers
- Disinformation campaigns and public mistrust
- Alleged human rights violations Lord Naseby defends Sri Lanka
- Neecha Dosha of planets and how it is cancelled Neechabhanga Rajayoga
- Vastu defects and bathrooms
- Are you endowed with Pancha Maha PurushaYoga?
- God Aiyanayake: Guardian Deity of Jungle and Village
- Good thoughts eliminate bad planetary influence
- The Disaster Artist: The (un)making of a movie
- Our children and our cinema
- INTERPRETING ASIAN CINEMA: CHALLENGES AHEAD
- How Sanskrit journalism is slowly hogging headlines
- ice manufacturing in South Asia
- CMSC’s season finale concert
- Two documentaries on Sri Lanka in Film South Asia 2017
- Politics of nostalgia
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Silvia Senanayake Dazzles at Mrs. Asia International
- Let’s Taco Colombo
- THE WRITER’S KITCHENNETTE MULLED WINE
- Hunger gnaws at Rohingya Children in camps
- Defeating IS Russia has ‘accomplished’ task
- Saudi Princess Ameera Aidan fights sex exploitation
- Hacking into the gate
- Review: A Bad Moms Christmas Relatable holiday humour
- A must watch superhero film!