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Author: Hammed Shahidian
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Blending social scientific theories about feminism, social movements, and culture with the specifics of the Iranian situation, this volume examines changes in the structure of patriarchy from the 1960s to the present by looking at domestic labor, employment, education, politics, culture, and sexuality. Combining personal narratives and socio-philosophical discussion, Shahidian focuses on policies that shape gender relations, primarily on the Islamic government's strategies to re-strengthen patriarchal practices. A nascent secular feminism in Iran opts for far-reaching changes in gender relations, but faces serious internal and external constraints. This book studies gender discourses in Iran as the interplay of ideologies and socio-historical conditions. Iranian gender and cultural politics have emerged through lively, often brutally fierce, battles over symbols, meanings, and practices--battles involving Islamist, reformist, and secular women activists. Such conflicts have produced a damaging dual society of public and private forums. This bifurcation yields not peaceful coexistence, but subjugation to the Islamic state's plans. Only by rejecting so-called reformist measures, which, the author contends, merely continue the subordination of women, can equality between the sexes be achieved.