Iran, commonly known as Persia in the Western world, is home to the world’s oldest civilization. Throughout the Persian history, women contributed a significant role in each era.
The ancient Persia shows the great participation by women in all facets of life. Many cities and states of the ancient Persian Empire were ruled by them and also had their army completely under the control of women commanders. Persian women owned properties, were involved in managing their assets and participated in economic activities of the estate and other economic units. They had employment opportunities earned wages and as a result were able to be economically independent.
Maternity leave for women and all expenses were paid by the state in 539BCE
A 2,600 year old clay cylinder bears what has been called the world’s “First Human Rights Charter” and was inscribed under the direction of the Persian (Now Iran) ruler "Cyrus the Great" in 538 BCE.
The Persian were the "First People" in history to give men and women equal rights, abolish slavery and write the very first human and animal bill of rights in 538 BCE. The fortification tablets at the Ruins Persepolis reveals that men and women were represented in identical professions and that they received equal payments as skilled laborers and that gender was not a criterion at all.
The Declaration of "Human Rights" written by "Cyrus the Great" has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, predating the Magna Carta by nearly two millenniums and in 1971 the United Nations was published translation of it in all the official U.N. languages. It is now kept in the British Museum and it is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most precious historical records of the world. Also a replica of the "Cyrus Cylinder" is kept at the "United Nations" Headquarters in New York.
Iranian poet Sa’adi, from the 13th century, is one of the major influential Persian poets of the medieval period. Sa’adi is best known for his works ‘Gulistan’ and ‘Busan’, poetry which emphasized a unity in mankind, an interdependence regardless of social barriers and labels.
Sa’adi Poetry “Bani Adam” Inscribed On United Nations Building Entrance
The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb,
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others,
You are unworthy to be called by the name of a Human.