Women in Iran
Throughout history, women in Iran have played numerous roles, and contributed in many ways, to Iranian society. Historically, tradition maintained that women be confined to their homes so that they could manage the household and raise children. During the Pahlavi era, there was a drastic change towards women's segregation: ban of the veil, right to vote, right to education, equal salaries for men and women, and the right to hold public office. Women were active participants in the Islamic Revolution. Iran's constitution, adopted after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, proclaims equality for men and women under Article 20, while mandating legal code adhering to Sharia law. According to Sharia, women inherit half of what a man would, and compensation for the death of a woman is also half. Sharia law still favors men, but Article 21 of the constitution as well as a few parliament-passed laws give women some advantages. Women are allowed to drive, hold public office, and attend university. Not wearing a veil in public can be punished by law; and when in public, all hair and skin except the face and hands must be covered.