Islamic Council

Iranian women to be treated equally to men in traffic accident compensation

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A female taxi driver is seen fetching a passenger in Tehran August 21, 2011. About 500 female drivers make up the Women's Taxi company which serves only female passengers. (REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)

Iranian women who are injured in car accidents will be offered the same compensation as male victims for the first time, according to a new measure passed by conservative Islamic lawmakers, marking a step forward for women’s status in the country. The law will mandate that insurance companies compensate victims of traffic accidents the same way, regardless of gender, and was passed by the 12-member Guardian Council, an Islamic advisory council that ensures that state laws conform to Sharia law, according to Reuters. Ziba Mir-Hosseini, a professorial research associate at the University of London, said in the report that the legislation could open the door to other gains for women in the future. (Under Iranian law, third-party vehicle insurance is governed by the Koranic concept of “blood money,” in which the victim of injury, or their family in the case of death, can claim compensation from the perpetrator.)

“Once they accept that men and women are equal… in terms of blood money when there is a car accident, that means they have accepted the principle, so that can set a precedent,” she said.

One of the lawmakers said following the vote that families should not be unfairly burdened if a woman is the head of the household and is killed in a car accident.

Read the full story at Reuters.

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