Friedl, Erika. Sources of female power in Iran

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Title: Sources of female power in Iran

Published in: In the eye of the storm : women in post-revolutionary Iran, edited by Mahnaz Afkhami and Erika Friedl

Published By: In the eye of the storm : women in post-revolutionary Iran, edited by Mahnaz Afkhami and Erika Friedl London ; New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1994. 151-167, 214-216 p.

By line: Erika Friedl

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Iran (MA01)

Subjects: Normal garb (291); Labor supply and employment (464); Gender status (562); Family relationships (593); Social control (626); Sex and marital offenses (684); General character of religion (771);

Abstract: In this paper, Friedl argues that in spite of women's subordinate position in Iranian society, they are able to derive some power to effect change in their lives and those of others. Following a dialectic logic, Friedl shows how women counter the dominating discourse to access and use power. This power potential of women is discussed in four contexts: household, work, religion and government. By being a super housekeeper, a woman brings prestige to the household, makes family members dependent on her services, and gives her control of household resources. As a wage earner, women have the additional advantage of controlling their own money to assert their priorities. Women can use piety as a manipulative strategy, as well, such as gaining a job promotion. Mothers of martyrs, successful pilgrims, and descendents of the Prophet all carry respect and are a source of potential power. Even in sex-segregated schools, Friedl sees women having more opportunity to express themselves, develop confidence in their knowledge, and practice leadership skills.

Document Number: 96

Document ID: ma01-096

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Field Date: 1965-1992

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4, 5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 2005

Coverage Date: 1965-1992

Coverage Place: Iran

LCSH: Iranians

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