Domestic Violence in Iran
Women, Marriage and Islam
By Zahra Tizro
Published October 24th 2011 by Routledge – 268 pages
Series: Iranian Studies
This book offers a new methodological and theoretical approach to the highly sensitive and complicated issue of violence against women in contemporary Iran. Challenging the widespread notion that secularisation and modernisation are the keys to emancipating women, the author instead posits that domestic violence is deeply rooted in society and situated in the fundament of current discourses.
Investigating how orthodox jurisprudence as mainstream discourse, together with social, legal and public norms, help to perpetuate the production and reproduction of physical, psychological, sexual and economical violence against women, the author presents and reflects upon narratives, experiences and the social realities accounting for domestic violence against women. Drawing on qualitative empirical research, she theorises that the notion of secularization and modernisation helping to overcome such violence is to some extent represented by Islamic feminism, secular feminism, and religious intellectualism, all of which are methodologically examined in the analysis.
Challenging conventional wisdom regarding women’s place in Iran and in wider Islamic society, this book offers a new insight into violence against Muslim women and as such will be an important addition to the existing literature in the areas of gender studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, and Iranian studies.
"This volume is a path breaking work in dealing not only with silences concerning domestic violence in Iran where women are concerned, but also with men and the different ways that they approach this in Iran. In particular the interviews with men in the northern region, Tizro ventures into a difficult and unexplored terrain. The work is revealing and sheds light not only on the dilemmas faced by men and women in the specific case studies, but also those living in societies and within cultures that define sexual control as a male prerogative. In Iran as in the rest of the world these views are contextualised in judicial and legal as well as cultural contexts that both support and perpetuate violence. Though particularly important to those concerned with women in the Middle East an the Muslim world, the work also sheds light on the communality of experiences of both physical as well as psychological and cultural violence against women across the world and outlines the different ways that these have been contextualised in Islam and practised in Iran." - Haleh Afshar
Introduction 1. Theories Regarding the Roots of Violence Against Women 2. Power, Knowledge and Subjectivity in Relation to Domestic Violence Against Women in Iran 3. Methodology 4. Sanction and Sanctuary: The Judicial System in Iran and its Role in Relation to Domestic Violence Against Women 5. Women’s Experiences, Perceptions and Understanding of Domestic Violence 6. Men’s Perceptions and Understanding of Domestic Violence 7. Conclusion
Zahra Tizro is a Lecturer in psychology in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St. John University, UK. Her research interests span a broad range of topics including domestic violence, gender studies, health studies, critical social psychology, Middle Eastern and Iranian studies.