Marginalization of the Women in Qajar Iran and Male Domination Culture in Iranian Families

  December 03, 2020   Read time 1 min
Marginalization of the Women in Qajar Iran and Male Domination Culture in Iranian Families
Iran has always had a conservative culture in dealing with the women as part of the society. The male domination is of a long history in Iran and this is indeed an essential element of Iranian culture in early modern era.

Differences and inequities also operated in the intimate spheres of household and family activity. Most central were the divisions of labour, power and resources in cultivation, animal husbandry, manufacture and commerce along gender and age lines. Gender specialisation distinguished women’s provision of childcare and household labour, or their processing of animal products for use and sale, from male activities such as ploughing and construction work on buildings or irrigation systems. Spatial segregation situated female cloth and carpet production within their homes, contrasted with the male production of urban and luxury versions in urban workshops. This expressed cultural conventions which separated men and women in household or public space and defined the sphere of public/external affairs as belonging to men. Such conventions in turn created specific divisions of labour to meet them, as with the role of female health specialists, female service workers or female attendants in bath-houses.Gender divisions of labour varied significantly according to social rank, age and market forces, but were a core influence in material life. Legal and customary frameworks for inheritance, marriage and the use or management of material resources (land, flocks, money) distinguished the roles and rights of men and women, with variations beween rich and poor, rural and urban, or settled and nomadic groupings. While legal or material provisions were made for both women and men, women’s range of choice, autonomy and authority was often limited. This was significant for the affluent, where commercial activity or the rewards of land- or office-holding were shaped by male merchants, landowners or officials, and at the modest level of local trade in cloth or milk-based goods produced by women’s skill and labour where men often took charge of marketing.