Although all countries are unique,
Iran may have claim to more surprising political changes in the past century
than any other country existing continuously during that period. Among these
changes have been notable alterations in women’s roles and status. The birth of
urban mass politics during the constitutional revolution of 1906-11 saw women’s
first political activism, which continued after World War 1, though that
independence was eventually much diminished under the new Pahlavi dynasty of
Reza Shah (1921-41) (Afary, 1996; Bayat, 1978; Paidar, 1995; Sanasarian, 1982).
While the increasing
internationalization of feminism provides new prospects for women’s solidarity
throughout the world, theoretical perspectives such as identity politics,
cultural relativism and postmodernism emphasize the uniqueness, particularism,
and localism of each and every feminist movement.
often scarce space available to them in very different political circumstances,
women’s strategies in defence of their human rights range from entryism to
While fundamentalists read all women’s strategies as equally
significant of betrayal of their identity, liberals outside Muslim countries and
communities - and increasingly inside too - select the entryist strategy as the
only legitimate one insofar as it matches our “nature”.
the women’s movement remains united in standing for the need to use
Internationally, it has
become quite fashionable to speak of living in a global village. The expression
is usually intended to positively express the linkages now established
throughout the world, the similarities of issues confronting the different
people who inhabit it and our ability, therefore, to connect with one another.
Whatever we understand and enjoy in
human progress instantly becomes ours, wherever it might have its
Identity is a subject which
needs some reflection because I believe that certain things are taken for
granted in this subject which do not, by any means, survive the scrutiny. This
is not in any way to deny the importance of identity in our lives. It affects
our actions, governs the loyalties that we have, the tides that we respect. It
affects our reflections. It affects the way that we see ourselves.
Feminist critiques of
gender-neutral approaches to the study of labour markets have demonstrated that
gender relations do not simply articulate with, but are part of, the very fabric
of labour markets as they have developed. That is, gender is a constitutive
element in the formation of labour markets.
Following independence in
1991, the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan has been undergoing sweeping
social, political and economic changes, all deeply affecting the country's
women. However, women's problems continue to be ignored, while the role of women
has become a battleground between the various forces, including fundamentalism,
which seek to fill the ideological vacuum left by the collapse of Soviet power.
In the Arab world, a woman must convince the court that she is 'harmed' by her husband to get a
The Current Status
The current status of
personal status laws in Arab countries have three distinct flaws: the absence of
a unified law, the absence of equality between men and women, and the absence of
equality between people of different religious denominations. We shall speak
briefly of each to explain.
Customary and religious laws and
practices are often used as tools to control women's sexuality and to maintain
the imbalance of power in sexual relations. This paper describes customary and
religious laws and beliefs, and their impact on the situation of both rural and
urban women in Eastern Turkey, based on a study among 599 women from the region,
most of whom are or have been married.
• Excerpts from: New York
Times, November 28, 1999
Sufia Kamal, Bangladeshi
Writer and Women's Rights Advocate, Dies By Douglas
Sufia Kamal, a Bangladeshi poet, political activist and
feminist, died at age 88 on Nov. 20 1999 and was buried [...] with full state
honors, the first woman to receive that recognition from Bangladesh. [...]
[Thousands] of people paid their respects to Ms. Kamal at her funeral [...] in
Dhaka. [...] [Begum Kamal] ...