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The Violence of Benevolence and the Struggles for Women's Rights in Iran

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This talk explores the state's contradictory demands on Iranian women in the post-revolutionary era. It examines the processes that at once reinforced women's expectations of rights yet also demanded that women exemplify a static symbolic status to further the goals of the revolution, even four decades on.

Arzoo Osanloo is Professor in the Department of Law, Societies, and Justice and Director of the Middle East Center at the University of Washington. Her books include, The Politics of Women’s Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press, 2009), which analyzes the politicization of Iranian women’s “rights talk” and Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victims’ Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press, 2020), which won the Law and Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Book Prize for new, outstanding work in law and society scholarship as well as the Mossavar-Rahmani Book Prize for best scholarly monograph in Iranian and Persian Studies.

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