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The Life and Times of the Shah$
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Gholam RezaAfkhami

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520253285

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520253285.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Women and Rights

Women and Rights

(p.238) 11 Women and Rights
The Life and Times of the Shah

Gholam R. Afkhami

University of California Press

The “woman question” in Iran was only sporadically touched on in the nineteenth century. Patriarchy dictated the norms by which woman lived, and the clerics, managing education, justice, and culture, dictated the content and form the norms took. Women were led to defend themselves using the two main weapons available to them: motherhood and sex. Under Reza Shah, the first Pahlavi king, the nation set out to modernize, but the process left family law largely undisturbed. Reza Shah used the historical need for progress to open education to women, but he did not relish the prospects of his wife and daughters appearing unveiled in public. He sent his sons to Europe to study, but he would not countenance the same for his daughter, Ashraf. Women continued to have a hard time, though in the fifty years of the Pahlavis they made considerable progress against considerable odds.

Keywords:   Reza Shah, modernization, sex, motherhood, Pahlavis, Islam, patriarchy

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