Monday, February 27, 2023

Women’s Political Representation in Iran and Turkey: Demanding a Seat at the Table

Women’s Political Representation in Iran and Turkey 

Provides a comparative study of women’s political participation and representation in contemporary Iran and Turkey

  • Draws on 140 interviews with past and present female politicians and candidates, party elites, and women’s rights activists in Iran and Turkey between 2009 to 2019
  • Investigates women’s political underrepresentation in Iran and Turkey by examining each respective country’s electoral system, political party structure, government framework and state gender ideology
  • Includes the voices, experiences and approaches of women’s groups and political parties across the ideological spectrum in its analysis – from the Justice and Development Party and Women and Democracy Association in Turkey, to the Zeinab Society and Islamic Women’s Coalition in Iran
  • Highlights Islamic women’s agency as they challenge the gender discriminatory behaviours and attitudes of their male party leaders
  • Includes data and statistics related to the rate of women’s candidacy and election to political office at the national level

How have women in many Muslim-majority countries been able to achieve surprising success despite the significant constraints imposed by conservative gender ideology and authoritarian political parties and systems? Through a comparative focus on Iran and Turkey, Mona Tajali examines the activities and strategies of women’s rights groups across the ideological spectrum. She explores how various groups have negotiated with political elites in order to bolster female political representation and identifies the conditions that stimulate greater support to ease women’s path to political office. Studying how women’s groups manoeuvre within these structures is important to help our understanding of the gendered politics of autocratic regimes.

  1. Introduction: Women and Politics in Muslim Countries
  2. Opportunity Structures: Strategizing for Women’s Political Representation in Turkey and Iran
  3. Turkish Women as Political Agents: Between Secularism and Islamic Revivalism
  4. Strategic Interactions: Multi-party politics and the lobby for female representation
  5. Framing for Political Inclusion: The Demand for Headscarved Women’s Candidacy
  6. Women and Politics in Iran: From Revolutionary to Reformist
  7. Organizing Against All Odds: Iranian Factionalism and Women’s Political Representation
  8. Piety and Agency: Framing Women’s Political Rights in a Theocratic State
  9. Conclusion: Demanding a Seat at the Table





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