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Women in contemporary Iran

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  1. The evolution of women's status in Iran
    1. The antishah movement and the Iranian Revolution
    2. Women's status under Islam
  2. The awareness of women about their unequal status
    1. The paradox of the Islamic Republic: institutionalizing gender inequities but giving women the power to contest it
    2. The improvements in Women's status through education
  3. A changing Iranian society
    1. The empowerment of Women
    2. Unexpected changes in young Iranians' behaviour

The history of women's situation in Iran is very ambiguous. As Keddie points out, "the situation of women shows all the contradictions of the revolution [?]. Despite the great limits on women's rights enforced in the first years of the revolution, several factors led to a partial comeback". In Western countries, Iran is depicted as a jail for women, who are subjugated to the will of men. It is and undeniable fact that the Iranian Revolution has institutionalized the inferiority of women in the Islamic Republic. However, depicting Iranian women as passive casualties of the regime does not reflect the reality. Outwardly, women seem to comply with the fate the Islamists imposed on them. By an intimate study of the contemporary lives of Iranian people, it becomes obvious that a major transformation is taking place, a kind of silent revolution. For about twenty eight years, the Iranian population particularly women have been living under the restrictions imposed by the Islamists in power. One of the main ideas of the rulers was to reinforce the Islamic gender relations, particularly the withdrawal of women from public life. In reality though, different factors have strangled that purpose. From a historical point of view, Iranian women have always taken part in the political workings of their country, and the setting up of the Revolution is not an exception.

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