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Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective$
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Jocelyne Cesari and José Casanova

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788553.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Iran

Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Iran

(p.211) 9 Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Iran
Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective

Ziba Mir-Hosseini

Oxford University Press

Since the 1979 Revolution that brought clerics into power, the struggle for women’s rights in Iran has conventionally been framed as a polarized conflict between “Islamist” and “secularist” ideologies. This view has masked the real battle, which has been between despotism and patriarchy, on the one hand, and democracy, pluralism, and gender equality, on the other. An unintended consequence of the revolutionaries’ merger of religious and political authority has been a growing popular understanding of this struggle. This chapter examines the shifting dynamics of relations between theology, gender, and politics in the Iranian Islamic state, which, in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election, gave birth to a rights movement with women at the forefront. By then, the traditional cultural value of namus (sexual honor) for many Iranians was outweighed by the notion of haqq (rights), especially the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.

Keywords:   gender equality, Iran, women’s rights, theology, politics, namus, haqq, 1979 Revolution

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