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Segregation of Women in Public Space in Iran

Arjmand, Reza LU (2013) 9th Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, 2013
Abstract
As part of a systematic endeavor to Islamize the society, Iranian Islamic government has bestowed efforts to create gender-segregated public urban spaces. The gender segregation was formally enforced in public places such as schools, sport halls, swimming pools, transportation facilities, etc. in last three decades. The most recent effort of the government includes “women-only parks”, claimed to be designed and administrated by women to accommodate the needs of women and provide space for social interaction and activities. The model was emulated in other countries across the Islamic world and received differently: some argue that such gendered spaces limit the already restricted interaction of sexes in such strictly engendered societies,... (More)
As part of a systematic endeavor to Islamize the society, Iranian Islamic government has bestowed efforts to create gender-segregated public urban spaces. The gender segregation was formally enforced in public places such as schools, sport halls, swimming pools, transportation facilities, etc. in last three decades. The most recent effort of the government includes “women-only parks”, claimed to be designed and administrated by women to accommodate the needs of women and provide space for social interaction and activities. The model was emulated in other countries across the Islamic world and received differently: some argue that such gendered spaces limit the already restricted interaction of sexes in such strictly engendered societies, taking the social exclusion of women yet another step further; while others consider it re-appropriation of an indigenous spatial dichotomy (biruni/andaruni) in the religion and the local culture. Those engaged, however, maintain that parks have taken women's needs and requirements into consideration in such otherwise patriarchally structured society.

This paper is part of a larger empirical cross-disciplinary study on urban public spaces in Iran, Pakistan and the U.A.E. It is based on an ethnographical field work conducted in a number of parks (both women-only and mixed) in each of the respective countries. As a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies and the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Lund University, this study will address a wide array of perspectives on gendered urban spaces which exist among various groups of women, urban designers and policy-makers in the countries studied. (Less)
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9th Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, 2013
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English
LU publication?
yes
id
2217b66f-414f-4941-bdc3-5bd0cc392e9a (old id 4222806)
date added to LUP
2014-01-07 11:30:45
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2016-07-01 14:23:59
@misc{2217b66f-414f-4941-bdc3-5bd0cc392e9a,
  abstract     = {As part of a systematic endeavor to Islamize the society, Iranian Islamic government has bestowed efforts to create gender-segregated public urban spaces. The gender segregation was formally enforced in public places such as schools, sport halls, swimming pools, transportation facilities, etc. in last three decades. The most recent effort of the government includes “women-only parks”, claimed to be designed and administrated by women to accommodate the needs of women and provide space for social interaction and activities. The model was emulated in other countries across the Islamic world and received differently: some argue that such gendered spaces limit the already restricted interaction of sexes in such strictly engendered societies, taking the social exclusion of women yet another step further; while others consider it re-appropriation of an indigenous spatial dichotomy (biruni/andaruni) in the religion and the local culture. Those engaged, however, maintain that parks have taken women's needs and requirements into consideration in such otherwise patriarchally structured society. <br/><br>
This paper is part of a larger empirical cross-disciplinary study on urban public spaces in Iran, Pakistan and the U.A.E. It is based on an ethnographical field work conducted in a number of parks (both women-only and mixed) in each of the respective countries. As a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies and the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Lund University, this study will address a wide array of perspectives on gendered urban spaces which exist among various groups of women, urban designers and policy-makers in the countries studied.},
  author       = {Arjmand, Reza},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Segregation of Women in Public Space in Iran},
  year         = {2013},
}