For centuries, women have been struggling against patriarchy that has denied them of their basic human rights, and have been demanding equality. 

But, according to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, our fight for gender equality has given rise to "corruption". 

After a meeting with religious leaders and a series of tweets from his official Twitter account, Khamenei is facing backlash for some controversial statements that undermine the feminist movement

While criticizing Western notions of gender equality, the Shia Muslim leader was accused of implying that gender equality is a "Zionist plot," aiming to distort the role of women in society.

Commemorating the birth anniversary of Fatima al-Zahraa, Prophet Muhammed's daughter, Khamenei warned a meeting of religious speakers of a "Zionist plot to corrupt the involvement of women in the society", according to the leader's official website

While asserting that Islam views men and women as equals when it comes to "ascendance of spiritual positions, the power of leadership and the capability to lead humankind," Khamenei denounced the modern-day pursuit for gender equality.

The Shia leader equaled people seeking gender equality with Western thinkers, claiming that the feminist movement has led to corruption, by promoting the objectification of women.

"Today, Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the corruption which it has brought about."

Khamenei then spoke of a Zionist plot seeking to commodify women in the West, making them objects of pleasure.

"Making women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most likely among Zionist plots aiming to destroy the society."

Khamenei has previously slammed Western feminist views on several occasions, saying that Western feminism has led to moral crises and promoted the objectification of women. 

"The West seeks to capitalize off women's issues," he said.

Khamenei says men and women are equals ... then asserts gender roles

Khamenei advised Muslim women to look up to Prophet Mohamed’s daughter Fatimah as their idol, rather than pander to Western notions of feminism. He said that Fatimah was "a great woman in a real leadership role, a wife and a perfect mother".

He then commended Fatimah for prioritizing her role as a mother and wife, despite the demanding leadership responsibilities she faced as Islamic ruler Imam Ali's spouse. 

Khamenei ultimately supports the traditional and stereotypical distribution of gender roles by saying that men and women differ in their "duties in managing life," according to Tasnim News.

Khamenei's official Twitter account criticized Western feminism for promoting gender equality while refusing to acknowledge the "nurturing capabilities God has gifted" women with. Khamenei also demanded that women who choose to become full-time parents be respected. 

Traditional gender roles are actually assigned in the Iranian constitution, which states that it is the "duty" of Iranian women to raise children based on religion.

Source: Pinterest

Women in the Islamic Republic of Iran face state-imposed restrictions on almost every aspect of their lives. 

Under the pretext of enforcing the Islamic Sharia, Iran enforces dress codes on women, limits their higher education and work opportunities, puts their travel under male guardians' control and restricts them from practicing sports.