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Women in Public Space: A Comparative Study of Women in Women-Only Parks and Gender-Mixed Parks in Iran

Arjmand, Reza LU (2013) European Conference on Sociology of Urban and Regional development
Abstract
Using “fortress model” of urban planning as part of normative and ideological endeavors to Islamize the society, Iranian Islamic government has systematic implemented gender-segregation policies, among others, in public urban spaces. The most recent efforts in a long line of policies and practices include “women-only parks” claimed to be designed and administrated entirely by women to accommodate the specific needs of women and provide a safe haven for female social interactions and activities. The phenomenon has met the resentment of some groups of women, arguing that such gendered spaces limit the already restricted interaction of sexes in such strictly engendered society as Iran taking the social exclusion of women yet another step... (More)
Using “fortress model” of urban planning as part of normative and ideological endeavors to Islamize the society, Iranian Islamic government has systematic implemented gender-segregation policies, among others, in public urban spaces. The most recent efforts in a long line of policies and practices include “women-only parks” claimed to be designed and administrated entirely by women to accommodate the specific needs of women and provide a safe haven for female social interactions and activities. The phenomenon has met the resentment of some groups of women, arguing that such gendered spaces limit the already restricted interaction of sexes in such strictly engendered society as Iran taking the social exclusion of women yet another step further; while other groups considered it re-appropriation of an indigenous spatial dichotomy in Iranian culture: andaruni (inner space) and biruni (outer space). Designers of the “women-only parks”, 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 comparative study on urban public spaces to compare and contrast the attitudes of women towards two distinct public spaces (women-only parks and mixed parks) in Iran. The study is conducted in collaboration with Centre for Middle Eastern Studies and School of Architecture and Environmental Design of Lund University, it endeavors to cross various disciplines to address, explore and study various perspectives on gendered and mixed urban spaces in Iran. Women in “women-only parks” and “gender-mixed” parks are studied to contribute to understanding on various perspectives among different groups of populations on a wide variety urban and social questions. (Less)
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European Conference on Sociology of Urban and Regional development
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264f5abe-442e-4175-a3e9-3cd22c74ece3 (old id 4222803)
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2014-01-07 11:34:28
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@misc{264f5abe-442e-4175-a3e9-3cd22c74ece3,
  abstract     = {Using “fortress model” of urban planning as part of normative and ideological endeavors to Islamize the society, Iranian Islamic government has systematic implemented gender-segregation policies, among others, in public urban spaces. The most recent efforts in a long line of policies and practices include “women-only parks” claimed to be designed and administrated entirely by women to accommodate the specific needs of women and provide a safe haven for female social interactions and activities. The phenomenon has met the resentment of some groups of women, arguing that such gendered spaces limit the already restricted interaction of sexes in such strictly engendered society as Iran taking the social exclusion of women yet another step further; while other groups considered it re-appropriation of an indigenous spatial dichotomy in Iranian culture: andaruni (inner space) and biruni (outer space). Designers of the “women-only parks”, 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 comparative study on urban public spaces to compare and contrast the attitudes of women towards two distinct public spaces (women-only parks and mixed parks) in Iran. The study is conducted in collaboration with Centre for Middle Eastern Studies and School of Architecture and Environmental Design of Lund University, it endeavors to cross various disciplines to address, explore and study various perspectives on gendered and mixed urban spaces in Iran. Women in “women-only parks” and “gender-mixed” parks are studied to contribute to understanding on various perspectives among different groups of populations on a wide variety urban and social questions.},
  author       = {Arjmand, Reza},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Women in Public Space: A Comparative Study of Women in Women-Only Parks and Gender-Mixed Parks in Iran},
  year         = {2013},
}