“In 1980, after the downfall of the Shah and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the Islamic regime introduced compulsory veiling, using police and para-military police to enforce the new rule. Despite the popularity of the regime, it faced stiff resistance from women (including some veiled women) on the grounds that such a law compromised the democratic rights of women…The fact is that both rejection of the Shah’s Eurocentric vision and the resistance to the compulsory veil represents women’s actiec struggles against the imposed gender role envisaged for women by the Iranian state.” (Hoodfar,
Have you ever wondered how people around the world live? If so, then at some point in time in your life you thought like a Cultural Anthropologist. But have you ever thought about how the way people in the Middle East live? Probably not right? Islam and Middle Eastern culture, might be the most misunderstood culture from around the world. It is especially difficult to understand by those in western societies. People who live in western societies tend to have this stigma towards people from the Middle East that they’re bad people and they’re all terrorist when in fact they’re not. They are a regular society, deeply rooted in tradition and culture. Westerners sometimes don’t understand that because it’s western ideology to be civilized and conform to what those with social power say what’s right. For many years, the people of the Middle East have been targeted by western imperialism to try and change who they are and what they believe in, but most countries put up a fight. The role of women in the Middle East has been especially difficult to understand by those outside of the culture. Contrary to what many people might believe, women play a major role in their society and are not as oppressed as many people may think. They contribute highly to education, the economy, and other social and cultural factors such as religion, family, and the social status of women in the Middle East.
Lila Abu-Lughod is an American anthropologist whose work is focused around descriptive ethnography and mostly based in Egypt. Her work aims to tackled three main issues: the relationship between cultural forms and power; the politics of knowledge and representation; and the dynamics of gender and the question of women’s rights in the Middle East (Columbia). Lughod in her book Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? sets out to get rid of stereotypes that muslim women because of frequent ‘honor killings’ and the practice of veiling need to be rescued. She coins the term for the exploration of saving muslim women ‘Islamland.’ There is the perpetuating stereotype and dominant narrative that muslim women need saving and islam is a threatening
Historically, “Women and Gender in Islam” discusses the social, political, legal, and religious discourses and structures that have shaped the experience of Muslim women
“Life is full of unhappiness and most of it caused by women (Harik and Marston 11)”. For women in the Middle East life is faced with great and unequal odds, as their human rights are limited, due to Islamic beliefs and that of patriarchy. From their daily actions at home to their physical appearance, Middle Eastern women are portrayed as quiet, faceless women veiled from head to toe. While this image is just another stereotype, women in the middle do face many obstacles and challenges of creating their own identity as they are frequently denied a voice in their rights. Living in a society dominated by men life is not, but regardless women in the Middle East, predominantly Muslims, continue to fight for
The emergence of the Islamic Republic in late 1970’s Iran demonstrates how middle class Iranian people purged themselves of the Pahlavi Dynasty in an effort to continue down a more righteous and egalitarian path. As a result, the country underwent a complete social upheaval and in its place grew an overtly oppressive regime based in theoretical omnipotence. In response to this regime, the very structure of political and social life was shaken and fundamentally transformed as religion and politics became inexorable. As a result, gender roles and the battle between public and private life were redrawn. Using various primary and secondary sources I will show how the Revolution shaped secular middle class Iranians. Further, I will show how the
The diversities within North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia (cultural, religious, political, etc.) play a crucial part in the status of women and the key features of gender roles in these particular geographic regions. The Middle East and North Africa share commonalities through Arabic and Islamic culture. Establishing equalities for women amongst the current social and political changes of Middle Eastern and North African societies stands as a difficult obstacle to overcome, but in spite of this, women’s rights efforts are still being made. While Islamic culture is dominant in Southeast Asia, the culture of Southeast Asian nations is diverse. Islam and gender in Southeast Asia have contributed to the continuing debate over Islam, feminism, and gender rights in the region. The cultures of North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia are male dominated, but this cultural dominance might not sustain in the future. This essay will compare and contrast the current status of women and the key features of gender roles in North Africa and the Middle East with those of Southwest Asia. Examples will also be provided to justify any arguments that are made.
Women's rights in the Middle East have always been a controversial issue. Although the rights of women have changed over the years, they have never really been equal to the rights of a man. This poses a threat on Iran because women have very limited options when it comes to labor, marriage and other aspects of their culture. I believe that equal treatment for women and men is a fundamental principal of international human rights standards. Yet, in some places like Iran, discriminatory practices against women are not only prevalent, but in some cases, required by law. In this essay I will explain to you the every day life of an every day Islamic woman living in Iran. You will be astonished by what these women have endured through the
There are many ways in which Iranian cultural expectations are different from the western cultural expectations. They are different in regards to citizens’ rights and gender norms.
Religion goes hand in hand with culture, and in the Muslim countries this is very apparent. The cultural importance of men over women may have stemmed from religion, however it was further recognized when imperialist countries introduced capitalism and class divides. “Islam must combat the wrenching impact of alien forces whose influence in economic, political, and cultural permutations continues to prevail” (Stowasser 1994, 5). Now, instead of an agrarian state where both men and women had their place, difficulties have formed due to the rise in education and awareness that women can and do have a place in society beyond domestic living Though women are not equal to men anywhere around the
Women’s rights in Iran or the Middle East has always been an arguable issue. Although there rights have been changed throughout the centuries they were never really compared equal to men or noone really accepted them. Specially for women in Iran, they barely had any rights in culture, marriage or other aspects of their lives. In the following essay you will read about the everday lives of Middle Eastern women.
Abayas, shailas, burkas, and chadors: all are forms of veiling in the Middle East, and all are perceived as symbols of oppression and patriarchy by the West. The veil worn by a Middle Eastern woman is striking and beautiful in its simplicity and elegance. The hijab, the most common form of veiling, leaves only the face visible with the neck and hair completely covered. Onlookers are in awe at the mystery and symbolism associated with the many veils created out of fine, exotic silk. But such notions of oppression and patriarchy often associated with veiling are not only inherently biased and ironic – it would be interesting to explore the symbolism behind a mini-skirt or a pair of five-inch heels, no? – but they are also inaccurate. Although veiling has most definitely been used in the Middle East as a “mechanism in the service of patriarchy, a means of regulating and controlling women’s lives” (Hoodfar, 5), it has also been used as a mode for rebellion and self-expression. Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian woman who grew up during the Islamic revolution, resisted the regime and the universalizing nature of the veil in the hope that she could maintain her individual identity whilst communicating her political ideologies. By examining the way in which the veil is represented in Satrapi’s graphic memoir, Persepolis, while also considering the history of veiling in Iran, it will become evident that the veil is not just a political tool used by male chauvinists; it also presents an
There are many political, religious, and cultural factors that shape the lives of Islamic women many of them are completely different than factors in the lives of American women. Islam is one of the world’s fastest growing religions; however, Brooks argues that “Islam’s holiest texts have been misused to justify the repression of women, and how male pride and power have warped the original message of this once liberating faith.” The book also shows these factors have slowly been taking away women’s rights, rather than furthering them.
Women’s rights in the Middle East have always been a controversial issue. Although the rights of women have changed over the years, they have never really been equal to the rights of a man. This poses a threat on Iran because women have very limited options when it comes to labor, marriage and other aspects of their culture. I believe that equal treatment for women and men is a fundamental principal of international human rights standards. Yet, in some places like Iran, discriminatory practices against women are not only prevalent, but in some cases, required by law. In this essay I will explain to you the every day life of an every day Islamic woman living in Iran. You will be astonished by what these women
In today’s vast, democracy-fueled world, the concept of feminism has gradually taken on a significant role when it comes to modernity. The advocacy for equality of all women proves effective and boasts an undying faithfulness from women everywhere. Within the boundaries of the United States of America, feminism has grown since the establishment of the nation and continues to grow today, an issue that has especially risen in light of the recent election. However, beyond this great nation’s borders, feminism does not die in even the slightest way. Women all over the world are fighting for their equality and right to complete and total fairness. Despite the worldwide movement, it’s often overshadowed by other issues going on. Iran, the focus of Jasmin Darznik’s The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life, played (and continues to play) host to perhaps one of the greatest flawed societies when it comes to feminism. Through her powerful, poignant memoir, Darznik brings us into the midst of a particular lifestyle and the reality behind treatment of women in Iranian society.