Religious Edicts and Gender Roles: Case Study of Women’s Mobilization in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan

Naila Rafique

Abstract


This study examines the relationship between religious edicts and gender roles. Specifically, I empirically focus on, under what conditions do religious edicts shape gender roles, either prescribing or proscribing them. In contrast to other studies, this study considers how women's mobilization in particular societies moderates the effects of religious edicts or surpasses them, providing additional social space to deal with the construction of gender roles. Using literature that focuses on effects of religious edicts and formations of gender roles, this paper uses a comparative-case approach, looking at Turkey (high women mobilization), Iran (moderate women mobilization), and Afghanistan (weak women mobilization). Therefore, religious edicts and women's movements in a particular society are key causal factors determining gender roles in a society. The study concludes that the religious edicts have a huge effect on gender roles in society if the women's movement is obsolete or weak in mobilization; but if the women's movement is of equal or greater strength than the religious edict, then religious edicts has little to no effect in promoting gender roles.


Keywords


Women’s mobilization, Relgious edicts, Gender Roles, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey

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