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Secular and Islamic feminist work to increase parliamentary representation in Iran: towards an alliance?

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posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by R L Barlow
Women have never represented more than 5.9 per cent of sitting parliamentarians in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This compares poorly with regional and global averages. More importantly, the deficit in women’s substantive representation has led to a lack of understanding of gender-specific needs among decision-makers in Iran. This chapter explores how Islamic and secular-oriented feminists—those working ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the system respectively—have confronted these issues by working to increase women’s parliamentary representation in Iran. The author argues that as stand-alone ideologies, both Islamic and secular feminisms are limited, suggesting that prospects for improving women’s political participation in Iran are likely to improve if ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ agents of change can work towards building meaningful relationships around mutually beneficial goals. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the Campaign to Change the Male Face of Parliament in Iran, offering some suggestions for potential future alliances between Islamic and secular-oriented women.

History

Title of book

Human rights and agents of change in Iran

Pagination

105 - 126

Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan

Place of publication

Singapore

ISBN-13

978-981-10-8823-0

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2018, The Authors

Editor/Contributor(s)

Rebecca Barlow, Shahram Akbarzadeh

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