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Women, State, and Society in Iran, 1963-1978

Wed, Jan 1, 2003

Books, Persian

WomenStateSocietyPERInterview with Mahnaz Afkhami, secretary general of Women’s Organization of Iran (WOI), 1970-1978, and Iran’s minister of women’s affairs, 1975-1978.
2003 / Foundation for Iranian Studies / Bethesda, MD
Gholam Reza Afkhami, ed.

“A moving narrative that competes with some classics of Middle East women’s studies” — Janet Afary, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

Iranian women gained significant rights and became considerably more active and effective socially, politically, and economically between 1963 and 1978. Mahnaz Afkhami was secretary general of the Women’s Organization of Iran (WOI), 1970-1978, and Iran’s minister of women’s affairs, 1975-1978. In this book she discusses how women propelled the progress they made in Iran’s patriarchal society, how the government’s worldview, politics, and policies affected their progress, and how relevant to their cause was their presence on the international scene and the use they made of international organizations, treaties, conventions, and declarations. Afkhami’s discourse focuses on the cultural, social, and political challenges Iranian women have had to face, and to overcome, before and after the Islamic revolution.

To access the complete volume in Persian, click on its title: Jâme`e, dowlat, va jonbesh-e zanân-e iran, 1342-1357.




Reviews:
Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies Vol. 1, No. 1 (Winter 2005) / Janet Afary

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About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more

Books Display

Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for WomenWomen State & SocietyToward A Compassionate SocietyLeading to ChoicesSafe and SecureMuslim Women and the Politics of ParticipationClaiming Our RightsFaith and FreedomWomen and the Law in IranWomen in ExileIn the Eye of the Storm coverWomen in Exile (Spanish version)Women in Exile (Turkish version)IRANHandbookENGLeading To Choices Multimedia Pack
"The conditions women have in common outrank and outvalue those that set them apart." - Faith and Freedom

"Iran’s One Million Signatures Campaign for the Reform of Discriminatory Laws is an extraordinary phenomenon. It is democratic, nonhierarchical, open, and evolving in a polity that is none of those things." - Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story, Foreword

"Activism women realize that awareness of rights is the first step in gaining a political voice and the political power to gain rights." - Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation

"We must be bold and creative, our feet firmly grounded in the realities that surround us, but our gaze aimed at the lofty possibilities that our advancements in science and technology promise and that our growth as a global society is only beginning to comprehend." - Toward A Compassionate Society
“A manual that, unlike traditional human rights law, reconceives rights as also relevant in religious and cultural spheres, not just in the public sphere.” – Claiming Our Rights, Madhavi Sunder, The Yale Law Journal

“A gripping combination of serious scholarship and popularising” – Faith and Freedom, MESA Bulletin

“A sad, lovely, horrifying, heroic book.”– Women In Exile, Women’s Review of Books

Quotables – Iran Women’s Movement

"Now, when I look back [on the work of the WOI], it seems to me that our main mistake was not that we did not do other things which we should have done. Our main mistake was that we created conditions in which the contradictions related to modernity, progress, equality, and human rights, especially women’s rights, increased and the reaction to our work put perhaps too much pressure on the country’s social fabric." - Fate of the family protection law

"Iran’s One Million Signatures Campaign for the Reform of Discriminatory Laws is an extraordinary phenomenon. It is democratic, nonhierarchical, open, and evolving in a polity that is none of those things." - Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story, Foreword

At the time of her execution, [Ms. Parsay] wrote one of the most moving letters to her children. And in that she expressed the same courage and the same steadfast belief in her principles that she had followed all of her life. And that was that: I’m a doctor. I know what it means to die, that takes only a minute. I’m not afraid of that. What I’m afraid of is to be pressured into denying 50 years of service to women. - Executed But Not Forgotten

“Prostitution was the code word for activism during the early part of the revolution” - I Was Iran's Last Woman Minister