Farsi, the Persian language spoken in Iran, has no word for feminism, perhaps explaining in part the varying ways in which women (and men) have responded to gender inequality in that country. Women in Iran have been working for more equal rights for over a century.

As long ago as the latter part of the 19th century, despite the fact that most women lived in a society where male domination was routine, women were often secluded and veiled, and polygamy was practiced, some women resisted such restrictions. Women were barred from voting or holding public office and family laws remained under the Sharià model. A man could have up to four permanent and as many temporary wives as he wished. Fathers, or other male relatives, always ...

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