Globalization and the Rise of Women’s Literacy and Primary Education in Iran, from 1880 to the Present Day
Iran is a striking example of a country experiencing a shift from widespread illiteracy to the onset of universal literacy in just a few decades. What is especially remarkable about the Iranian case is the persistent drive to universal female literacy, even in rural areas, during the regime change from a secularizing autocracy to an Islamic theocracy. The basic resolution of this apparent paradox is that the Islamic Revolution was perceived by its leaders as a true revolution. It was conceived not as a return to a traditional society but as a move to purify and establish Islamic morality to counteract secular, westernizing forces in Iranian society: Education was a policy lever to achieve such goals.
KeywordsLiteracy Literacy Corps Literacy Movement White Revolution Islamic Revolution Nationalism Secularization
This chapter has benefitted from outstanding research assistance provided by Sousan Torabi Parizi.
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