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Theses Master's

Pushing Boundaries: Islamic Feminism in Iran

Aslam, Fatima

Since the 1990s, a powerful feminist movement has emerged in Iran led by women who are challenging traditional authority and re-interpreting the Quran for themselves. The way this movement evolves will determine the future direction and development of the women’s right movement in Iran and in the larger Muslim world. In this thesis, I examine the life of two influential Iranian Islamic feminists, Shahla Sherkat and Azam Taleghani, in order to understand and assess their strategies in terms of expanding women’s rights in Iran. This paper begins by providing a brief discussion of the twentieth century social and political transformation in Iran that propelled Sherkat and Taleghani to get involved in the Islamic feminism movement in Iran. Next, it discusses how the two women relate Islam with Feminism, how they approached the Quran as a basis for reform, and how they expanded the presence of women in the political sphere of Iran. Through this thesis, I hope to show that change is happening – and more often that not, it is led by Muslim women.

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Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Chuman, Joseph N.
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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