ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the women's movement within its regional and international context and analyses how this context in turn has an impact on the movement within Iran. It aims to connect the Iranian women's movement and the reform movement of which it is a part to intellectual trends which underpin broader struggles for democracy and women's rights in Muslim-majority countries. The chapter discusses the perceptions of this women's movement in the West and the impact of threats of military action and sanctions against Iran which have strengthened the conservative government and made it more difficult for Iranians to mobilise around questions of women's rights and democracy. It presents a case study of the impact of both regional and international perceptions on the women's movement through an analysis of the coverage of the disputed 2009 elections in Iran and the mass demonstrations that followed in the Western and regional media.