The Iranian Women’s Movement: Rights and Difference
Omid Mohamadi, Lecturer, Feminist Studies
My talk centers on the Irania women’s movement and the One Million Signatures Campaign that seeks equal rights for all Iranian women within the laws of the Islamic Republic. Focusing on the campaign’s central text, The Effect of Laws on Women’s Lives, and activists’ testimonies, I show how the Iranian women’s movement appeals to (and also challenges) multiple sites simultaneously, and highlight and critique scholars who subscribe to a shared historical narrative suggesting that the current unity between secular and religious feminists is evidence that the women’s movement has superseded a century of internecine conflict and possibly ideology itself. One must also look at the internal logic of rights themselves and their ability to either imperil or strengthen social movements. I argue that two central facets of rights coupled with two historical development after the 1979 Revolution are responsible for the recent rights-based activism of Iranian feminist, and conclude by thinking through the politics of difference within the movement, especially claims of radical alterity that fray when confronted with the complex relationship between secularism and religion.
Omid Mohamadi earned his Ph.D. in Politics at UCSC with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Studies. Focusing on contemporary Iran, his research utilizes feminist and political theory to explore interrelated questions on religion, secularism, gender, rights, the state, art, and social movements.
Feminist Studies Colloquium Series Winter 2017 Schedule:
January 12th: Soma de Bourbon, “Parenting BinaryTrans Children on the Edge of the Bay Area”
February 2nd: Mikki Stelder, “Towards Other Scenes of speaking and Listening: Palestinian Anticolonial Queer Spatialities”
March 2nd: Omid Mohamadi, “The Iranian Women’s Movement: Rights and Difference”