chapter  6
21 Pages

From motherhood to equal rights advocates: The weakening of patriarchal order


This paper is largely based on my field works in Iran from 1994 to 2004 and combines qualitative and quantitative methods. I conducted my first qualitative survey (open-ended interviews with a sample of 100 mothers) in Tehran, Isfahan and their poor suburbs from 1994 to 2000.1 The quantitative survey, which is a result of the collaboration between Monde Iranien (CNRS), the French Research Institute in Iran and the Statistical Centre of Iran was conducted in 2002 with a sample of 6,960 urban and rural households in all 28 provinces.2 The sample was composed of 30,714 individuals, including 7,633 women 15 years and older and married at least once, and 6,154 single youths, 15-29 years old, who lived with their parents: 3,437 boys and 2,717 girls. The questionnaire contained 150 questions on individual characteristics of household members (age, sex, marital status, economic activity, literacy, level of education, spare time, etc.), household characteristics (revenue and spending, etc.), women’s specificities (relations with husband and children, awareness of rights, opinion concerning free choice, women’s access to work, political responsibilities, etc.), and youths’ specificities (opinion concerning marriage and marital life, relations with parents, etc.).3