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Title: The perspectives of Iranian feminists and women activists on their political identity and priorities
Authors: Asadi Zeidabadi, Pardis
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis seeks to explore the perspectives of women involved in feminist and women’s activism in Iran on important aspects of their political identity and priorities. This study draws on forty seven one to one semi-structured interviews with Iranian feminists and women activists, through an explanatory approach. It engages with the participants’ perspectives on key concepts and issues such as feminism, women’s rights, gender equality and democracy. Participants of this study include a spectrum of women with different beliefs and strategies: secular feminists, religious reformists and religious conservative women. As Iran is a country that has a difficult context for gender politics, Iranian feminists and women activists apply different approaches to seek to improve the status of women. Key findings include: (1) Approaches to being a feminist and supporting feminism relate both to participants’ beliefs, but also the strategies they apply to advocate women’s rights. (2) There were important differences and similarities in what participants understood by gender equality and what aspects of equality they prioritised. (3) Working towards greater democracy was important to all participants, but there were important differences in their views over whether democracy should be secular or Islamic and how far Iran was from being a ‘full’ democracy. This research contributes to the existing literature by considering a variety of feminists’ and women activists’ views about the terms feminist and feminism, their approaches to gain gender equality and also their views about democracy and its possibilities in Iran.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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