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DISRUPTED SOCIETIES, TRANSFORMATIVE STATES: POLITICS OF LAW AND GENDER IN REPUBLICAN TURKEY AND IRAN

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Iran and Turkey, one an Islamic, the other a secular republic, are the more successful loci of women's participation in public life, both politically and economically, than are a number of other states whose population is largely Muslim. I suggest their relative success (as measured by World Bank and UNHDR data) may be due to similar transformative shifts from monarchy to republic. Historical examination of the cases of Turkey and Iran suggests that while the mobilization of women into political activity is crucial, it need not result in similar legal changes. Obviously, the right to vote is fundamental to political participation and exists for women in both countries. The comparison of the two republics suggests that, at least in Muslim-majority countries, a legal regime explicitly protecting gender rights may be less central to social change, including women's participation in public life, than is a history of women's mobilization in support of popular politics.

Affiliations: 1: Washington & Lee University School of Law

10.1163/156920807781787680
/content/journals/10.1163/156920807781787680
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/content/journals/10.1163/156920807781787680
2007-04-01
2016-12-06

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