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Then in her late 20s and rebounding from a string of broken relationships, Fahimeh Azadi moved alone into an apartment in working-class southern Tehran. Still, Azadi had to balance independence with caution. She ascended the staircase only when it was clear of neighbors and admonished visiting friends to walk on tiptoes to avoid attracting attention.
And I managed to live there for two years without anyone harassing me. Their s are increasing as divorce becomes more common and more women attend universities, exposing them to careers and incomes independent of men who, by law and custom, are supposed to be their guardians. But as Iran has promoted higher education, throngs of women have answered the call, in part to improve their prospects in a job market stagnating under international economic sanctions. But once equipped with degrees, many struggle to find men willing to embrace a more liberated woman. A university graduate working as a tour guide, she is fluent in English and Russian.
These days it is difficult to find a really open-minded Iranian man. They are lagging behind us. Azadi, her styled golden-brown hair half-covered by a patterned ivory scarf, described a man she lived with for two years. He came from a well-off family and had studied in Armenia.
She broke up with him last year after he refused to let her go out in the evenings alone and interrogated her after parties about men she had danced next to. Her late father, a goldsmith, and mother supported her decision to remain single — particularly after her older sister, a successful lawyer with a year-old son, divorced a husband who opposed her going on business trips.
That alone reflects how women are asserting themselves, particularly among the urban middle class, where the Internet and Western satellite channels are slowly expanding the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. In the last nine months of , the of registered marriages nationwide dipped by 3.
Marrying remains a powerful norm in Iran, and many laws still treat women as the property of men. Mahtabi fell in love in her early 20s, but her first boyfriend was unwilling to introduce her to his devout parents. A more recent relationship with a suave computer expert broke up when he told her he would only marry a virgin. But with so much of Iranian life centered on the family, many single women struggle with loneliness.
The slim, dark-eyed Mahtabi wonders whether she should lower her standards with the next man she dates. He would bring up money at odd times, she said. Sometimes he would slip in underhanded comments, saying she must have gotten her job through family connections. We educated Iranian girls are stuck between tradition and modernity. I just want to be a decent girl who is a traditional mom and at the same time part of modern society.
Hajar Hasani, a year-old pathologist, divorced her surgeon husband two years ago after his long work hours took a toll on their marriage. He had grown uninterested in sex, she said, although later she found suggestive texts on his phone from nurses and female co-workers. She already had rejected two suitors, she added, because they seemed mainly to be after sex. She believes that even many highly educated Iranian men continue to hold regressive views about women.
In many rural areas, attitudes remain staunchly traditional. A year-old theater actress from the Kurdish region of northwest Iran said that marriage prospects in her hometown were limited to truck drivers, and that she would have been forced to become a housewife had she stayed home.
The actress, who asked to be identified as Marziyeh to avoid angering her conservative family, moved to Tehran to study drama over the worries of her parents. She has put thoughts of marriage on hold. But she remains hopeful — because of the growing ranks of single women like her. Outside, Marziyeh stepped into a taxi and rode back to the apartment she shares with a single girlfriend. She had a date that night. He ly covered South Asia from Mumbai, India, and national security from the Washington bureau. IMF board expresses confidence in leader despite questions about past conduct.
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By Shashank Bengali, Ramin Mostaghim. Reporting from Tehran — Then in her late 20s and rebounding from a string of broken relationships, Fahimeh Azadi moved alone into an apartment in working-class southern Tehran. But men in the building still wondered about the single young woman upstairs. Fahimeh Azadi, 35, a university graduate and tour guide who is fluent in English and Russian, is among a growing of women in Iran who are electing to remain single.
They are lagging behind us Fahimeh Azadi. A woman rides on the back of a motorcycle in Tehran. Shashank Bengali. Follow Us twitter. More From the Los Angeles Times.Not a southerner educated guy looking for sexual woman
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