Sex Segregation Sells: Iran Opens Women-Only Bank

by Krista Ciminera

Sex segregation is all the rage these days, as a popular bank in Iran has opened it’s first women-only branch with an all-female staff and security guards. The state-owned bank, Melli, opened this branch for the purposes of safeguarding women’s virtue, according to the bank’s director. While news like this may seem startling, it’s not exactly as new or foreign as the media reports it to be.

This kind of sex segregation doesn’t just happen in the Middle East.  The Western world has a tendency to highlight sex and gender issues in the Middle East, especially in areas with high Muslim populations, as a way to establish a dichotomous difference between the two worlds.  It is as if they are “bad” and the Western world is “good” at treating women.  But this is not necessarily the case.

Brazil has their own women-only train cars, here at BUST we’ve reported on Mexico’s women-only taxi cabs, and in Indiana, a hotel opened its first women-only floor three years ago.  All of these services proclaim to offer women a “safe space” from men.  Regardless of where this is happening in the world, I don’t believe that separating the sexes is a step in the right direction to ultimately secure safety for women.  If anything, this separation is the effect of a much larger cause that needs to be addressed.



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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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