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Decoding International LawSemiotics and the Humanities$
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Susan Tiefenbrun

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385779.001.0001

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The semiotics of women’s human rights in iran

The semiotics of women’s human rights in iran

Decoding International Law

Susan Tiefenbrun

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines various types of coded sign systems that, when decoded contextually and from the point of view of cultural peculiarities known to Iranians, reveal hidden realities about women's human rights in Iran. It determines how and the extent to which basic human rights are being denied to women in Iran today and whether there is hope for more justice and gender equality in Iran in the future. The chapter is organized as follows. Part I examines the historic and political contexts of women's human rights in Iran. Part II looks at the sign system of wearing women's Islamic garb known as the hejab or veil in an attempt to uncover the meaning of the many different messages this speech act conveys. Part III investigates cultural manifestations of women's human rights abuses in Iran through a study of the memoirs and films of four Iranian women. Part IV investigates the Iranian family laws as a sign system that reflects the culture in Iran and conditions the status of women's rights today in that country. Part V examines some of the international human rights laws and instruments that protect gender equality. Finally, this chapter concludes by looking at the future of women's rights in Iran.

Keywords:   Iran, women's rights, semiotic analysis, family law, human rights law

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