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Iranian Women and Legal Pluralism: The Impact on Women’s Rights

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This article analyzes how Iranian women have become legal actors and unofficial source of law in the Islamic republic of Iran, compelling the government to align on universal women’s rights standards. Iranian women have initiated and supported amendments, bills and reforms to enhance their rights and to work towards the implementation of universal women’s rights standards. The path they have opted for to reform Iranian law is original from many viewpoints: firstly, the reform of Iranian law takes place from the bottom to the top of the society as it is carried out by civil society; then women activists and groups support the reform of methods of interpretation of Islamic legal sources in order to see the emergence of more human rights-orientated interpretations of Islamic law: Eventually to reach their aim of conciliation between Iranian law, Islamic law and universal women’s rights, Iranian women have drawn their inspirations for a reformed Iranian law from many legal sources, giving a practical meaning to the notion of legal pluralism.


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