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Islamic feminism in Iran: Feminism in a new Islamic Context
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2005 (English)In: The word Meeting of Democracy, Promoting Foundations,, Stockholm 28-30 August 2005. The Swedish Parliament house., 2005Conference paper (Other (popular scientific, debate etc.))
Abstract [en]


If it is true that Feminism as well a social movement as a philosophical aspect is based on a whole system of individual rights where these rights constitute a framework within which every person has right to choose his/her own separate goods, provided that no one does deprived others of theirs. Seeing in this light feminism is not originated from the Islamic milieu, but is imported from the Western world.

The emergence of the “Islamic feminism” during the last two decades is however an indication of, from one side, the failure of pro-western feminism in many Middle Eastern societies in understanding the social and cultural circumstance of these societies, and from the other side, of a serious and immediate need for a fundamental change in the status of the women in this region.

It is obvious that so-called “Islamic feminists” base their ideas and claims, first of all, on Islam and legitimise their activities with the help of the Islamic tradition. Yet, Islamic thought is not the only grounds for the Islamic feminists' ideas and demands, especially in Iran. We can trace the footprint of Western ideas in their ways of thinking. Certain issues witness this claim: Gender as a social construction, individualistic perspective, Post-modern ideas and affiliation with Western feminism. The aim of this article is to discuss some possible reasons which have made possible the opening a “windows of opportunity” in Iran for the development of an approach to the issue of women among Muslim women which can lead to a radical Chang in the view of these women on the women’s’ place in the private as well as social life.

In two ways these Muslim “feminist” women represent “a new direction“ within “Islamic feminism”.

The first way in which the Iranian Islamic feminists’ interpretive work departs from previous attempts is the way in which they expand the domain of reinterpretation to new linguistic construction of the Arabic language.

Another way, which signifies the Iranian Islamic feminists from the other Muslim feminists, is their emphasis in a radical expansion of the domain of interpretation.

Why such a “radicalism”? The aim of this article is to answer this question.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Islam, feminism, Iran
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-79161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-79161DiVA: diva2:107074
Available from: 2006-04-04 Created: 2006-04-04

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