Iran has established a wide range of legal restrictions based on gender, all of them unfavorable to women. The most glaring area concerns Iran's marital laws. According to Nayareh Tohidi and Valentine Moghadam the minimum legal age for girls to marry is 9; lowered twice from 18 and 13 (cited in Lindsey 151). A virgin female must obtain permission from her father to marry. Muslim men are permitted to have up to four permanent wives: "Although Islamic law requires that a husband treat all his wives 'equally fair', the civil code has designated the husband himself as the sole judge of whether he can be equally fair" ("Status" 67). Theoretically, a man must get permission from his first wife before he can marry others, but with men wielding so much power in Iran it is likely that this approval is often coerced.
Besides permanent marriages, Iran allows a peculiar form of temporary marriage. Temporary marriage contracts can last for as long as the man desires or for as brief a period as one hour. (These marriages essentially allow men and women to have sexual relations and still be in conformance with Islamic law.) The woman is paid money for her services and men can have an unlimited number of such marriages, terminating them at will. Women have no similar privileges ("Status" 67). Marriage is an institution that has been employed throughout the ages in various cultures to subjugate women