Tehran municipal officials and employees have sexually harassed women heads of household, according to recent reports published by Iranian media.
In the past few years, the Women’s Affairs Counseling Center of Tehran municipality has received several reports from women heads of household. The reports allege that women are being raped and sexually harassed by municipal employees in at least three Tehran municipal districts: District 3, District 8, and District 13.
The reports further indicate that women heads of household were raped by district mayors, senior officials, and other staff of both the Tehran municipality and the Welfare Organization.
Employees at the Women’s Affairs Counseling Center who filed complaints against the officials were later fired, leaving women heads of household at even greater risk. The justification for the dismissal of women’s counseling staff was that they had engaged in indecent behavior and failed to properly veil themselves.
Maryam Soltani, Director of Women’s Affairs at the Counseling Center in Tehran’s District 3, was among the terminated employees. She was fired two years after her appointment under the pretext of not observing the obligatory hijab.
Municipal officials, using their authority, sexually abused women heads of household.
Women heads of household expressed their needs during meetings with Soleimani, the former mayor of District 3. However, instead of following up on the women’s needs through his office, Soleimani personally contacted the women, invited them to his office, and sexually abused them.
In another example of blatant sexual abuse, a woman contacted the Welfare Organization regarding her disabled husband’s need for physiotherapy. The Welfare Organization sent a physiotherapist, who separated the woman from her husband, locked him in a room, and raped her.
In yet another example, a widow requested that the Municipality repair the roof of her house. The repairman who showed up sexually abused her and continued to harass and threaten her for two months.