Women and Reproduction in Iran

  • Haleh Afshar


With the rise of fundamentalism and the imposition of its values on the daily lives of Iranians, women are firmly directed towards domesticity and selected as the bastions of honour and familial respectability. The family is seen as the centre and motherhood as the nexus of nationhood. The imposition of motherhood as the sole national obligation of Iranian women has been exacerbated by the long-running war against Iraq. The reproduction of future martyrs has become the patriotic duty as well as the function of womanhood. This chapter examines the political context within which this has occurred alongside an examination of women’s position in contemporary Iran.


Religious Establishment Iranian Woman Domestic Sphere Middle Class Woman Male Ideology 
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  2. Afshar, H. (1982) ‘Khomeini’s Teachings and their Implications for Iranian Women’, in In the Shadow of Islam (London: Zed Press) 27–75; and Feminist Review, no. 12 (October) 59–72.Google Scholar
  3. Afshar, H. (1985) ‘The Legal, Social and Political Position of Women in Iran’, International Journal of the Sociology of Law, no. 13, 47–60.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nira Yuval-Davis and Floya Anthias 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haleh Afshar

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