Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 6, 2011

Towards Substantive Equality in Iranian Constitutional Discourse

Amin Reza Koohestani

This paper discusses to what extent, if any, recent street uprisings in Iran have been fuelled by gender inequalities; and, what the legal challenges of transforming such gender equality demands into the constitution are. I argue that a demographic transition that commenced two decades ago in Iran changed the status of women in family and society. Such a transition has unavoidably increased the presence of women in the public sphere and challenged gender presumptions within the law. To give a constitutional response to such demands, I argue, the Iranian Constitution must re-examine the correlation between women and men as biological and/or social groups, and the relationship among women themselves as a group consisting of diverse identities. Moreover, equal attention must be paid to women’s norm, diversity, and agency.

Keywords: Iran; women; constitution
Published Online: 2011-2-6

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