Iranian women traveling: Exploring an unknown universe

Rokhshad Tavakoli*, Paolo Mura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


The current identities and positions of women in Iran are the product of several historical events that have shaped Iranian society throughout the centuries. Since pre-historical times, women in Iran have contributed to form the myriad of social laws, conventions, and practices that characterize what constitutes present-day Iran. As Grishman pointed out in his seminal book, Iran: From the Earliest Times to the Islamic Conquest, during the Neolithic period women usually controlled tribal groups as they were regarded as individuals more powerful and innovative than men (Ghirshman, 1954). This was due mainly to women’s highly developed engineering skills in agricultural techniques. In tribal societies, multiple marriages and partnerships were common for women, who were perceived as those carrying the “strongest genes.” Further, as women were often highly respected spiritual and religious leaders, they often played an influential role in both private and public realms (Ghirshman, 1954). By reviewing the history of Iran, one may see that women have long attempted to negotiate and enhance their roles in society. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian women have experienced decreasing levels of freedom in the micro (family), meso (relatives and neighbors), and macro (national and international) spheres. However, the Islamic Feminism Movement tried to rejuvenate this freedom. This branch of feminism focuses on issues concerning men’s and women’s equality within Islamic cultures, although Moghadam believes that these two words (Islam and Feminism) “are subjects of controversy and disagreement” (Moghadam, 2002, p. 1135).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and Travel
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical and Contemporary Perspectives
PublisherApple Academic Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781771884693
ISBN (Print)9781771884686
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Freedom of movement
  • Identities
  • Iranian women
  • Islamic laws
  • Islamic revolution
  • Pre-historical time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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