Women face discrimination, torture and abuse sanctioned by State organs, as well as from their own families behind closed doors. The 'sanctity of of the home has been misappropriated and abused by the dominant men who inflict acts of sexual abuse' (see J. Rehman - International Human Rights Law, A Practical Approach, 2003) and other violations against the inherent rights and dignity of women. As the United Nations Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy's report reasoned, this is because the 'entrenched patriarchal systems perpetuate bias and discrimination against females' resulting in 'women who choose their own husbands are branded transgressors of the boundaries of appropriate sexual behaviour'. As a result, such women are subject to direct violence and honour killings. Details of this report are 'Radhika Coomaraswamy, Report on Cultural Practices in the Family that are Violent Towards Women, Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/2002/83, at paragraphs 71 and 100.
A U.N. press release dated 27 November, 2008, reported that the U.N. human rights experts had voiced 'deep concerns over the Iranian Government's increasingly severe crackdown on advocates of the rights of women in recent years'. Eighteen communications had been sent to the Iranian Government concerning violations committed against seventy human rights defenders who are involved in the campaign for the rights of women in Iran.