Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Iqbal Akhtar

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Albert Wuaku

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Islamic Feminism, Reformist Discourse, Traditionalist Discourse, Neo-traditionalist Discourse, Muslim Feminists

Date of Defense



Islamic feminism in Iran is defined as the radical rethinking of religious and sacred texts from a feminist perspective. The purpose of this research is to show how an Islamic feminist discourse developed in Iran, and to outline the differences between the reformist and traditionalist epistemological foundations of women’s rights discourse in Iran.
This study, using documentary research methods, demonstrates that central to the development of Islamic feminism is the development of the reformist movement in Iran. Moreover, it is shown that the main impedance to women’s equality in Iran is the traditionalist epistemology in religious law. While reformists believe that employing justice in Islamic law requires absolute equality regarding both men and women’s rights, traditionalists present a different interpretation of the notion of justice. According to the traditionalist discourse, since men and women have natural and inborn differences, two separate kinds of law are needed to regulate their lives.





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