Theses Doctoral

The Roots of Feminist Invocations in Post-Revolutionary Iran

Ansary, Nina

Studies of the transformation of Iranian society after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and its impact on the position of the Iranian woman have revealed that three and a half decades of efforts by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) to institutionalize an archaic image of the ideal Muslim woman have produced results contrary to what was intended. The expansion of women's education in post-revolutionary Iran identified as an unintended consequence of the revolution has been empowering women against the IRI's misogynistic ideology. A feminist movement based on the evolution of female consciousness and an unprecedented solidarity among previously divided secular and religious women has emerged as another medium of resistance. This study augments the research in this field by examining modifications in the education system following the revolution. A critical content analysis of elementary school textbooks issued by the Pahlavi and the IRI assesses the way in which each regime sought to impart its gender ideology to young girls. The eradication of coeducation and institution of single-sex schooling at the pre- university level is investigated as a factor in combating the constraints imposed by patriarchal laws on the female population. The conclusion is offered that the IRI may have unwittingly undermined its own agenda for women in promulgating such seemingly outdated decrees. Finally, this dissertation examines women's publications of the Pahlavi and IRI periods, emphasizing the pioneering role of one particular feminist publication in presenting a universal feminist ideology.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Bulliet, Richard W.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 5, 2013