Feminist Contestations of Institutional Domains in Iran


Rostami-Povey, Elaheh. 2001. “Feminist Contestations of Institutional Domains in Iran.” Feminist Review 69 (1): 44-72.

Author: Elaheh Rostami-Povey


Iranian Feminists outside Iran are divided on women's positions in Iran under the Islamic state. Some have argued that the process of Islamization has marginalized women. Others have argued that the dynamic nature of Shari'a interpretation and the debate among religious scholars in Iran have shaped the indigenous forms of feminist consciousness, feminisms and women's involvement in the process of change. This paper, based on field research, is challenging both views. It will be argued that the contradictions of the Islamic state and institutions led to the process of feminist consciousness. In the period 1990-2000, Muslim and secular feminists in Iran have found their own ways of coming together, making demands and pressurizing the State and institutions to reform laws and regulations in favour of women's rights. But women are divided by the nature of their diversity. As their alliance has challenged the limitation of the Islamic state, the breakdown of their alliance (2000-2001), could have a great impact not only on gender relations, but also on the process of democratization and secularization.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2001

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