Mahboubeh, a 62-year-old Iranian schoolteacher, was forbidden from traveling outside the country a couple of weeks ago. She has been separated from her husband for three years, after what she describes as over three decades of constant fighting. Since her husband has not agreed to divorce her, he has taken revenge by preventing her from leaving the country, even for a short trip to the United Arab Emirates with a couple of her old friends. Mahboubeh told Al-Monitor she's fed up with the system that hands over so much authority to men, allowing them to rule women's lives, even when they are no longer living under the same roof.
Married Iranian women, even if they hold a valid passport, require their husband's permission to depart the country, regardless of age. For obtaining or renewing a passport, a notarized permit from the spouse is required. Husbands can easily refrain from allowing their wives to obtain or renew their passport.