Jul 012018

A dictator could kill its people but a king cannot.

Mohammad Reza Shah

Islam does need adjectives…Islam is everything. It means everything

Ayatollah Khomeini

In the past 70 years, Iran has gone through incredible changes in its society and the willingness to modernization has been a common theme present in all these different periods. The ideologies of the leaders – Shah (1953-78), Khomeini (1979-89) and the other presidents (1989-2016) – have been relatively same i.e. to modernize Iran and improve the lives of the civilians. Even with this noble cause of working for the people and helping them reach modernity, there have been myriads of conflicts during this period that have caused a commotion and social unrest; because of which, Iran’s reputation in the world has degraded. This result of confrontation even when the essential idea of modernity in the three periods has been constant, what has cotinuously been creating this havoc?

The sole reason behind this havoc is different political beliefs. Each of them had different routes of modernization and progress. During the period of Mohammad Reza Shah, Western democratic rules were pushed on to the people too radically – a change that the Iranians could not accept as Muslims. On the other hand, extreme clerical Ayatollah Khomeini brought in strict Islamic ideology to run the state, again pushing the people to follow the strict concepts of Islamic laws that were made a millennium ago. This period from 1963, when Khomeini rose against the monarchy of Shah and became the leader in 1979, is full of conflicts between these political ideologies. It seems that Shah was for Westernization and Khomeini for Islamic traditionalism. This essay will argue how these two different schools of thought were applied in their time periods to modernize through the filter of religion and gender roles. Many scholars have argued that this dichotomy between modernization and Islam does not have to impede progress. In fact, this essay will prove that the current Iran has modernized (third period) and become more European, yet still remains connected to the Islamic roots. To connect back to these roots, the female culture in the period of Khomeini and Shah requires being analysed, in terms of modernization and religious gender roles.


But before we delve into the discussion of politics, modernity and gender roles, defining ‘modernisation’ is important before proceeding with the discussion.

Various definitions of modernization exist, but one of the relevant definitions for this paper is connected to the Universal Declaration of Human rights, where women are given the same and equal rights as that of men. Most societies initiated with a monarchical system, where the king’s regime wanted things to be done in a particular pattern. Various retributive rules were forced upon people. Over many centuries, as this system gradually diminished, people finally had enough liberty to make decisions on their own. As mentioned by Ronald Inglehart in his article ‘Modernization, Culture and Democracy’, people had “private decision-making freedom” or in other words, a freedom of choice (8). Competition for this freedom also developed as some people, just because of a particular trait, could acquire this freedom much more easily than others. For instance, in various cultures, women were oppressed by being treated differently in comparison to men. This characteristic can still be found in numerous countries, but the general trend is towards liberal rights for women. This progression from limited rights to freedom of choice is prevalent in all cultures and is one route to modernization. This progression has been the method of European nations.

Another contrary method of modernization is through theocraticization. For various countries, religion has been a very common driving factor for the government. The belief is that a country can progress only through a strict devotion towards the particular religion. The government is also formed on these beliefs. For example, Ayatollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran from 1979-89, “advocated an Islamic government, and nothing else” (Vakili-Zad, 156). He believes that Islam is complete and has solutions to every problem – a reason why Iran was established as the Islamic Republic from 1979. Also, any counter-argument questioning the rules of Islam is considered sinful and, therefore, Islam demands a complete devotion and faith in the almighty because He knows the best for his people. A prominent theologian who was greatly respected by Ayatollah Khomeini, Fazlollah Nuri Sheikh (1843-1909), while arguing against the construction of constitution in 1908 said:

We will never be in need of man-made law, especially in view of the fact that we are Muslims and must organize our worldly affairs in such a way as not to disturb our situation in the Day of Judgement. This requisite law can only be the Divine law, because of its dual orientation, that is, because it regulates both this and the other world (Shaykh, 354).

Belief in divinity is another method of bringing a positive change that helps the society complete its goal of economic growth and improved standards of living. Any criticism against theocraticization of an estate is non-negotiable due to its direct relation to God as the sole provider for human beings.

The idea of combining these two juxtaposing methods of modernization seems very absurd. However, Iran has found a way reject this dichotomy and become a (modern) Islamic Republic.

Pre-revolution Iran – Mohammad Reza Shah

Mohammad Reza Shah – commonly known as Shah, who became the monarch at just the age of 21 after his father expired in 1941, called himself a democratic monarch. His power was significantly reduced in 1951, when Mohammad Mossadegh became the prime minister and made it clear that “Shah should reign and not rule” (Mossadegh). Mossadegh was frustrated at the British, Americans and Shah, who had exploited Iran’s resources and, therefore, wanted to nationalise the Anglo Persian Oil Company (APOC) to bring sovereignty and power back to Iran. However, this commotion infuriated the British and Americans, and they planned a military coup in Iran in 1953. In the global context, this was a post-World War II period, and Americans had a Red Scare of Iran becoming a communist power. This is why after the coup; Americans wanted to choose a democratic leader who would be willing to negotiate with the West. He said:

Communist dictators resemble Fascist ones in that they enjoy holding elections. They hope to give the ordinary working man the idea that he has a voice in the Government of his country. But the Communist rulers allow only one political party; anybody who tries to start another, or who speaks against the ruling party, is likely to be liquidated (Ansari, 19).

Shah believed in democracy and wanted to modernize Iran by Westernizing it. Because of such strong views, Shah regained his power as the sole power in 1953 that he had lost 26months ago (cite). Shah genuinely cared about Iran and wanted to modernize it through Western ideals.

The reason Shah believed in such models is because of the way he was brought up and wanted to change Iran. His father was also trying to Westernize Iran and Shah was following his footsteps. Shah received his education in Switzerland from the age of 11 to 17 (1930-1937). This was the period of Great Depression when Switzerland was facing negative Real GDP. Various policies were passed on during this time that liberalized the labour force and equality rights (Social). At the age of maturity, Shah was experiencing the policies that lie at the core of modernization and, therefore, this was crucial in developing the liberal ideas, which Shah was going to enforce in Iran. He was not ignoring the Islamic religiosity, just believed that a government could not be formed on the basis of Islamic laws. Shah was religious himself. He told an Italian journalist that throughout his life, he has had messages and visions from prophets, Imam Ali and God himself. He thoroughly believed that “he was on a divinely appointed mission to lead his country to a new era of greatness” and had a mythical force (Coughlin, 131). Shah wanted to use modernization not to let Iran be in middle ages and surpass the Europeans (Ansari, 7 and Abrahamian, 131). In 1963, Shah passed the White revolution that focussed on bringing economic and social changes in Iran. When a European anthropologist went to Iran during this period, he was “amazed at the high level of centralization achieved within the last decade.” The port facilities, railways, oil refineries, hydroelectric dams – all improved. Mana Kia in her article ‘Negotiating Women’s Rights’ mentions that another aim of the White Revolution was to let the “enlightened realise their goals and helps those too traditional to know what is best for them” by educating the general population about the rights they can possess (227).

Shah did not believe in the Islamic conservative perceptions of gender inequality, despite being a Muslim himself. The idea of ‘monarchical democracy’ that Shah supported required women to stand shoulder-to-shoulder. In a religious Islamic state like Iran, there was no individuality or sovereignty for women. They were considered to be an entity of their father or husband – where they were prohibited from leaving the house without the permission of these males, even to buy groceries. Along with this, women were also prevented from taking up any managerial jobs because of their “emotional and sensual nature” (Ganji, 54). This is why one of the six points of White revolution was women suffrage – a human right that directly correlates with empowerment. To compare, Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the United States that provided American women a mandatory right to vote was passed one year after the same law was passed in Iran. This comparative stance puts Iran on a pedestal above a Western nation – an aim that Shah aspired to. At the same time, the unveiling of women was made compulsory in public and various public/governmental jobs were made available for women. They could go out in public wearing flashy European clothes and work as lawyers and politicians – rights that women have never ‘enjoyed’ before. This was a complete change from the policies that previously have been passed. These rules, of course, were very prevalent in European societies and ideologies.

Shah was a key advocator of education and intellectual maturity as that results in the most efficient use of a nation’s human resources. In fact, education is not just beneficiary for the individuals themselves but also for the generations coming along. At first, schools were desegregated so that every student has an opportunity of equal education. According to a newspaper article called ‘Education in Iran’ from 1969, education had significantly improved over the past decade. About 6 universities were opened between the period of 1948-59 with the departments of medicine, letters, agriculture and engineering facilities. Because Shah was a key advocator of Westernization, he made study abroad considerably easier. In 1961/62, about 17000 students attended foreign universities – a figure about the same as the number of university students in Iran (Childs, 471). The plan was to broaden the education in a way that could not be done in a conservative environment in Iran. However, many of these students did not return but the ones who did played a important part in acting as a role model for various Iranians – especially youngsters who wanted to adapt the European culture. Education did not just make women more knowledgeable but also provided a psychological aspect of confidence and power. Education just does not make a better and equal work force but also makes women better housemakers. They are more aware of nutrition, nurture, and parenting, which in turn helps the future generations to come. Shah was targeting this positive feedback cycle of gradually improving the standards of Iranians.

He realised that just changing the laws is not enough but the actual psychology of the people needed a revolution. The families, especially the rural ones, still had Islamic views that suppressed women. The government can only enforce the law but the smaller organisation can reach out to such people. For this reason, Shah approved the formation of New Path Society in 1954 and also, initiated the Women’s Organisation of Iran (WOI) led by Shah’s twin sister, Princess Ashraf in 1966, where both had the primary goal of women’s rights in pre-modern Iran. These helped in providing women with social and economic knowledge to educate them of their social and political duties and modernize their perceptions (Kia 231-239).

In response, various women grabbed this freedom. Modern Iran was going through a cultural transformation towards being more European was clearly visible, especially in popular cities like Tehran or Mashhad.

Figure 1 shows modern Iranian women in Tehran College in 1971 found on Reddit.

Numerous things can be noticed in this picture. Shah’s regime of educating the women seems revolutionary. They seemed happy and protected being in this surrounding. The faces unveil confidence in these diligent students. Women adopted the make-up and Western dresses in their fashion. At the same time, no one could tell that they are Iranians or Muslims, and this notion of losing a national and religious identity created a counter culture.

Despite Shah being a revolutionary and willing to improve the society, there were several concepts that he brought that were repelled by various Iranians. The changes were too radical. Many appreciated the economical benefits of ‘White Revolution’ but several considered it to be redundant to be coming at a cost of losing Islam. When I interviewed Marjan Seirafi-Pour, who is a Persian Language Instructor and the Middle East Programs Coordinator at the University of Oklahoma and was born in Iran in 1960, about her family’s perspective on Shah’s Iran, she replied:

They (family) thought that their country was being turned into a European country that they were not comfortable with…We felt like our religion was being robbed…My father wanted us to become Westernized as far as education and knowledge were considered but he did not approve of Shah pushing the images of European men and women and making Iranians look like that (Figure 1). He felt threatened because he was being dictated…We wanted to do it at our own pace.

Her family was a typical middle-class family during the period and even though they have gained through Shah’s regime, their frustration is clearly visible. It seems that Shah completely ignored the aspect of loss of culture. During the interview, she also mentioned how the women are wearing hejab, veil started being looked down upon as backward. A foreign concept had so easily extinguished the long prevailing culture.

Schools during this time were a theatre of contrasts and cultural shock. On one side, there were girls wearing make-up, mini-skirts and tight clothes, while walking past them were cultured fully veiled females. Where one represented modernism, freedom and European, the other seemed modest, chaste and true-Iranian. Through our eyes today, both the cultures seem comprehensive but if we observe it through a contextual lens, there is a serious problem. When this happened with Mrs. Marjan Pour’s sisters, there was a pertained question that she was being asked, “Why aren’t you looking like that (Europeans)?” This change in culture could not be gulped by various Iranians, where they were being questioned about not being able to adapt to the modifications. The clichéd proverb, ‘Change is good’ does not apply here, as this change is harming the cultural and religious Iranian identity. This conflict gives rise to a person, who would bring an even more drastic change in the Iranian society.

            Revolt and Revolution – Ayatollah Khomeini

Imam Khomeini was born in a family of long religious traditions in 1902. As a nineteen years old, he went to study religious sciences. Khomeini gained his title as Ayatollah, which is a very respected title given to Shi’ite scholars of the highest knowledge, in 1963. Before he got involved in the conflicts against Shah’s monarchy, he was famous for his “ethics and philosophy and the classes he taught on them twice a week in (the sacred city of) Qum” that were frequently attended by hundreds of people (Khomeini, 9-14). It was his teachings and religious writings that the people were most influenced by. His ideas agreed with that of Islam and, therefore, the Iranians understood the importance of bringing Islam into their lives. At the same time, people could not relate to various ideals advocated by Shah that wwasere snatching away the religious identity. A conflict because of the clashing perspectives seemed inevitable.

To understand the situation, it is important to comprehend Khomeini’s interpretation of Islam and compare those to Shah’s. As a part of the clergy, Islam is the ultimate path to success in any field of life. Therefore, Islam comes before Iran. Khomeini called it blasphemy if anyone dared to say that “he is for Iran first and for Islam second (a perspective that Shah supported).” This is another reason why Khomeini called Shah’s rule as “satanic domination” and “crimes against God” (Clayton, II). Shah’s rule provided freedom without being bounded by certain rules of religion. Khomeini believed that such freedom is disastrous because of its barbaric nature. This is why a religious influence is essential to prevent chaos and lead to a spiritual Islamic state. He believed democracy to be a curse and said that “Religion must serve the individual totally and the individual must be totally in the service of the religion” (Moallem, 29). Islam provides a complete social system to run an economy without an outside influence.

One of the other reasons Khomeini was strictly against democracy was because of its elevation of female role. Islamic view of women is in utter contrast with that of the West but in an absurd way similar too. In an ‘Address to a Group of Women in Qum’ on March 6th 1979, Khomeini mentions something very contrary to our belief that Islam “shows concern for women that it does not show for men…. Islam made men and women equal” (Khomeini, 263). This can be understood by realising that Islam has provided everyone with a special task. When men are supposed to go out and make an earning for the family, women are the bolster of the household – a responsibility to make their sons martyrs. Women are directly associated with sexual purity, which is why they are veiled so that no man, except her husband, can steal the virtue. It is the responsibility of the husband to preserve and protect this purity. In Islam, a man’s blood during a war equates to that of women’s chadour, a cloth that covers the body of a woman from head to toe with only hands and face visible (Moallem, 31). Also, Islam considers the motherhood as the noblest job, and Khomeini says that it gives women “a special rank in society, which is not less than a man’s if not greater” (Afsher, 61). Islam prohibits the exchange of roles between a man and woman, where a woman cannot work and feed the family. These are the ideals on which Khomeini based his teachings and rules upon. So, even though Islam has tremendous respect for women, in our eyes, it seems as Islam is trying to suppress them. In fact, it is just a cultural difference. Modernization, according to Khomeini, was bringing Islamic culture back to Iran, and this was the core reason behind the Islamic revolution.

If there had been no Shah, there would be no Khomeini or Islamic Revolution. Khomeini rose as a political leader in 1963 to revolt against the Westernizing regime of Reza Shah. This infuriated Shah and Khomeini was exiled. Khomeini still maintained his political influence by writing public letters back to Iran and took full advantage of the freedom of speech. Despite his physical absence, he was still present “in the hearts of his countrymen” (Khomeini, 19). When Khomeini returned in 1978, the Islamic revolution had already begun. The rhetoric of it being more of an ‘Islamic’ rather than an ‘Iranian’ revolution is important, which ties it back to the notion of transforming Iran into the Islamic Republic to be called ‘Islamic Republic of Iran,’ where Iran is being associated with Islam and not vice-versa. Until one year after the hostage crisis ended, Khomeini had not become the ultimate power. During this period, without any government, the public enjoyed ultimate freedom.

The cultural revolution of 1980, one and a half year after the Islamic revolution, started with the beginning of Khomeini’s rule in Iran in 1980 and the Islamic modernization. The universities were shut from 1980-83 to decide what kind of a schooling system was required in Iran, which resulted in a lot of students graduating from High School and leaving to study abroad and the ones who could not afford remained uneducated until universities opened again after three years or even until after that. To display a similar story, in an award-winning Iranian movie called ‘Do Zan’ (translated to Two Women) released in 1999 portrays a story of a very intelligent lady, Fereshteh, who came to study from a very small town, Esfahan to Tehran University in 1979 after barely convincing her father. In just her first year, the universities started closing, and she was forced to be taken back to until the universities started again. This intelligent lady who had the potential to be very successful was married and then later suppressed by her husband could never return to university until her husband’s demise. This reversed Fereshteh’s life, and she lived a miserable life for the next (approximately) 7 years. At the same time, Fereshteh’s friend Roya stayed in Iran for the next three years and when the universities opened again, gets to visit university again. Roya turns out to be much more successful than Fereshteh, even though Fereshteh was a better prodigy. This was not the only story, but there were numerous other case studies that ended the various dreams women had during the Shah’s regime.

When the universities reopened, there was a complete turnover in the education system. The universities and public areas were segregated. The professors and students had to cover up. Law school was completely shut down for women (Afshar, 62). The only way banning the study of law for women can be speculated is that Khomeini did not want women to fight for anyone else’s or their rights in the society. The law is an area of study that directly translates to students understanding their stature in the community and gaining power. The women gaining such kind of power was completely against Islamic and Khomeini rule book. In such way, Khomeini was advocating the social inequality. The segregation only benefitted the very traditional families. The parents who chose not to send their kids to co-ed schools could now feel comfortable in sending their girls to school. They felt safer as there was no compulsion of interaction with boys. This, in fact, led to an increase in female literacy rate in rural areas (Ashraf, 69).

Once again, women were forced to veil in public areas, just like they did before 1934. Veil, as mentioned earlier, is a symbol of modesty and chastity – an important aspect of being a religious woman. Many women supported the Islamic revolution in order to bring back the Islamic culture in Iran and, therefore, they were happy with this law.

Figure 2 showing two women in hejab during the period of Ayatollah Khomeini.

The way the women dressed up is one method of displaying to the world that Iran is purely Islamic. It also brings the connotation of respect for women.

Yet again, this sudden change of suppressing female rights could not be accepted by various Iranian women who had already tasted freedom under Shah. Many were frustrated with so many prohibition laws. Shah’s period had brought huge income inequality in Iran, and this was another basis for fighting for the Islamic revolution. Another Fereshteh, who Arzoo Osanloo interviewed for his article ‘Islamico-Civil “Rights-talk’” says, “We were told that we would have oil dividends delivered to us…Instead, all they have done is brought us this” pointing towards her head scarf (196). The severity of the laws was most visible towards women – it seemed as if the only thing Khomeini cared about was suppressing the women. Some other rights that women lost were:

  • The women needed a concrete evidence in order to divorce while men could divorce at will (Afshar, 69 and Osanloo, 201).
  • Women should be equal to men when they pray, but they should place her head behind that of the man, otherwise she would need to repeat her prayers (Afshar, 70).
  • In a court, two female witnesses equated with one man (Afshar, 70).
  • Women were barred from inheriting land or income from the inherited land (Afshar, 70).

According to our definition of modernization, the women during this period were not free at all. It seems that modernization stopped, and there was anti-modernization during this time   period. One by one, every right from women were snatched. Through the description, Khomeini, who was a much more religious person seems more demonising that Shah, who had good concerns for Iranians. Women during this period suffered and a huge number of population were found to leave Iran during this period, including Mrs. Pour, who I interviewed.

Khomeini’s Islam is based on Qur’anic rules that were formed in the ninth century. That period was entirely different from that of today, and Khomeini was trying to follow those laws exactly. Every country has had immense changes since then, and following those old rules would not lead to a stagnant society, like Iran in 1989. As the societies progress, so should the rules and regulations.

It seems that both Shah and Khomeini were unable to lead Iran very successfully towards modernization, so what is the right method? What is the solution? However, it turns out that both of these time periods were crucial for the upcoming period.

Modern Iran

Since Khomeini’s demise in 1989, Iran has progressed in various aspects. It has not just developed economically but has modernized in its laws. Iran does not look like European countries; neither does it look like a traditionally Islamic country. The literacy rate of women to men is about the same. However, laws have still not reached a complete level of equality. The rest of the essay will explore modernized post-Khomeini Iran and how certain traits connect back to the history.

Women’s Rights of Inheritance – As mentioned earlier during Khomeini’s period, women were not allowed to own land at all. The purpose of such law was not to let women escape the cage of household, even when their husband or father passed away. However, according to a law passed in 2009, women can “inherit up to a quarter of the land and standing property of their deceased husbands” (Tabrizi, 244). This law presents a rigid dichotomy between Shah’s modernization and Khomeini’s conservatism. The change from no standing property rights to a quarter is a significant move towards providing women their deserved power in the Iranian society. This was an ideal that Shah majorly supported through his White Revolution. On the other hand, Khomeini’s ideals of preventing women power have also stuck in the culture. In fact, only quarter of the inheritance property is allowed and not half or even all. This can be concluded to say that Khomeini’s culture has subsided into the modern Iran more deeply than that of Shah’s.

Women’s clothes – Fashion is malleable, and it has been a similar story with the Iranian women clothing too. The dress code law has not changed since 1980 yet, vibrant cloth and personalised dresses have become a part of the culture. Women are still required to cover their body from head to toe, with only hands and face visible. However, this law has become lenient now. Even when women wear black burqas, a distinction in age and class can easily be made out. This was observed by Dr. Mehri Honarbin-Holliday when she was researching in Iran on women for her book ‘Becoming Visible in Iran.’ She compared one lady who whose chadour “fitted her body presenting her as a beautifully proportioned sculpture,” when at the same time, the tea lady walks in with a chadour, which is “more like a working uniform that has been washed often” (Holliday, 56). Despite both the women wearing the same kind of dresses, a clear distinction can be seen because of the fashion style, which shows the evolution in the variety of chadour as a process of modernization in Iran. Many women don’t wear burqas but still cover their whole body.

Figure 3 shows a modern Iranian working woman

This lady, who appeared in ‘The Guardian’ while demonstrating her colourful scarf, is a typical Iranian woman. Any person would consider her to be fashionable, modern and at the same modest and respectful. She is wearing a perfect blend of European coat and boots and an Iranian scarf and fully covered. This is a woman, perfectly coalesced into the Western and Islamic culture.

When the Europeans fashion is influencing the modern Iranian women, at the same time the laws prevent women from coming out in public in such clothes. This is why various women “wear (the) fullest hejab as an outer garment in the public space, but wear cropped tops and fashionable ‘hipster’ jeans at home, occasionally showing off tattooed motifs above a studded belt” (Holliday, 78). The young women are not interested in following the tradition at all but are obliged to follow the state law. This is an exemplar of how just a law cannot prevent a culture from being transformed. Modernization has already hit Iran, and no measure can stop it from spreading even more. There is no doubt that many women wear hejab just for the sake of not causing an unnecessary fuss but have left this tradition far back.

More equal laws – When Shah’s government gave the opportunity for women to become lawyers, it was not until 1975 when the first female judge, Shirin Ebadi, was appointed. In her 10-year long struggle, she was thrown into jail for specious reasons and barred from practising law for five years. When Khomeini’s clerical rule started, she was forced to leave once again. She was finally able to get back her job in 1993 after Khomeini had passed away. During the 14 years, she wrote numerous journals and books trying to liberalise the gender laws. She was focusing on one thing – interpreting an “Islam that was in harmony with equality and democracy” (Ebadi, 204). She has gone through a dramatic life to change the lives of numerous Iranian women, for which she was eventually awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 and considered to be in the top 20 Public intellectuals (Esfandiari, and Washington Post). She is a perfect example of an individual, who devotes her success to developing innovative ideas in Shah’s period and grew tougher during Khomeini period, eventually to succeed.


A very clear journey through two different methods of modernization is visible in Iran. Both of them were detrimental in their way. Shah’s mistake was not to take into account the loss of Islamic culture into Iran. He continued to be influenced by the European culture and kept enforcing those. Many were very satisfied with the modernization and economic developments that Shah brought, but they saw themselves losing their Islamic and Iranian identity. The women were given rights that they had never imagined to possess. This liberalism gave a rise to Ayatollah Khomeini, who wanted to bring in complete Islamic government, where everything would be done according to the Quran that was written in the ninth century. During this time, the women rights were entirely suppressed. Many Iranians were greatly unhappy with such system, even though they demanded this during the period of Shah.

And then, Khomeini passed away in 1989; some displayed sorrow while others celebrated the awaited freedom. The current Iran is an accurate reflection of an amalgam of both. Women have gone through dirt to have finally the current laws that are close to equality and their satisfaction. In numerous departments, women might still be marginalised, but this percentage has dramatically decreased over the years. The culture women enjoy and the laws they face, are very lenient in comparison. When today’s laws are analysed, a clear connection back to the White Revolution and Islamic traditionalism can be found, emphasising the importance of the history in the current modern Iran. In this essay, I have only been able to briefly explore the law and legal structure during different periods. For a more descriptive analysis, we need to look into more case studies and interviews, and also analyse the male gender roles in the society.


  • Ebadi, Shirin, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope, by Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni, Random House, 2006, p.204
  • “Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective.”: The Great Depression in Europe: Selected Comparative Data on GDP. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.



Pranav Mohan

Change and progress are two words that define my character and my ultimate goals. I have a vision to bring a global change by targeting the psychology, because that is the easiest to change. My aim is to incur a self-progressive routine for myself and then help the people around me to progress themselves. In my perspective, walking towards a defined target should be everyone’s goal while keeping in mind that things don’t go as planned but still the target should remain unchanged.

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