Ghazal Mardmomen


Organization: Family Planning Association of Islamic Republic of Iran
Location: Theran, Iran
Year: 2010

MRP/Thesis abstract:

Iranian Women’s Negotiations with Patriarchy: The Case of Fertility Decision-Making

Women’s reproductive right in population policies of Iran has received relatively little attention amongst population policy and development scholars. In light of this gap, this study examines women’s decision making capacity with regards to their fertility. This paper begins with the understanding that reproductive rights and women’s agency cannot be understood without due attention to structures and the context within which they are embedded. Based on interviews with eighteen Iranian women belonging to the low-income class, it was found that the women’s capacity to make decisions regarding their fertility was informed and shaped by an intersection of patriarchal institutions and practices. The results are used to illustrate the ways in which women use their fertility to negotiate in a context where their options are severely limited. Such analysis contributes towards the inclusion of women’s voices and experiences in population policy initiatives; the addition of previously ignored perspectives could better address the issue of the reproductive rights within Iran.