Iran's parliament passed an amendment that is the first of several planned measures designed to force segregatation of men and women at the country's hospitals.
The conservative parliament passed an amendment that will guarantee funding for a controversial law that would force public and private hospitals and other health organizations, including pharmacies, to segregate men and women. Organizations that violate the law will face fines and risk losing their licenses.
Though controversial, the measured has strong support from conservatives, who value strict Islamic rules that limit contact between unmarried or unrelated men and women. The Guardian Council blocked the law last month, citing a lack of funds to be used in enforcing the law. The Council is now expected to approve the measure.
Even though women doctors are available in Iran, health experts report that there are not enough specialists to implement the law effectively, and that women's health will suffer.
Media Resources: Nando.net and Reuters- November 1, 1998