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Author: Ladan Rahbari

Violence against women is still happening around the world, generating physical and psychological pain and disability for many of its victims. Violence in pre-marital relationships is an implicit aspect of violence against girls and women in Iranian society. Young girls who get involved in pre-marital relationships are very vulnerable to all forms of violence due to the lack of socio-cultural and legal support. Pre-marital relationships are legally and culturally forbidden and considered unacceptable and sinful especially for young girls. Cultural emphasis on female values such as virginity and chastity prohibits any kind of heterosexual relationship before marriage. Nevertheless, dating is a common and secret part of the lives of Iranian youth. In this chapter, physical, sexual, psychological and social violence against female dating partners is investigated in urban Iran, as a common aspect of pre-marital dating relationships. Having fear of stigmatization and losing marriage prospects, fear of facing more violence by male family members, and not getting any support from family, society, police and legal system has made young girls easy targets of victimization in pre-marital relationships. By using a qualitative approach and semi-structured interviews with dating victims, this chapter will explore their experiences of violence, addressing the very cultural factors that lead to their victimization. It will also be mentioned that the cultural mechanisms lead to the victims’ inability in ending such abusive relationships and ending up in a cycle of violence.

In: Violence in the Contemporary World: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Author: Ladan Rahbari

Abstract

Violence against women is still happening around the world, generating physical and psychological pain for many of its victims. Violence in premarital relationships is an implicit aspect of violence against girls and women in Iran. Younger girls in premarital relationships are particularly vulnerable to physical, sexual, psychological and social violence due to the lack of socio-cultural and legal support. Premarital relationships are legally forbidden and culturally shunned. For women, the cultural emphasis on maintaining virginity and chastity hinders heterosexual relationship before marriage. Nevertheless, dating is a common albeit secret part of the lives of Iranian youth. In this paper, I investigate prevalent forms of physical, sexual, psychological and social violence against female dating partners in urban Iran. I discuss that being afraid of stigmatization and losing marriage prospects, fear of facing more violence by male family members, and not getting support from family, society, police and the legal system make young girls easier targets of victimization in premarital relationships. By using a qualitative approach and semi-structured interviews with forty-four dating victims, this paper explores experiences of violence and addresses diverse factors that might lead to victimization. I also address some of the mechanisms that lead to the victims’ inability to end abusive relationships.

In: Violence: Probing the Boundaries around the World
Author: Ladan Rahbari

Abstract

Violence against women is still happening around the world, generating physical and psychological pain for many of its victims. Violence in premarital relationships is an implicit aspect of violence against girls and women in Iran. Younger girls in premarital relationships are particularly vulnerable to physical, sexual, psychological and social violence due to the lack of socio-cultural and legal support. Premarital relationships are legally forbidden and culturally shunned. For women, the cultural emphasis on maintaining virginity and chastity hinders heterosexual relationship before marriage. Nevertheless, dating is a common albeit secret part of the lives of Iranian youth. In this paper, I investigate prevalent forms of physical, sexual, psychological and social violence against female dating partners in urban Iran. I discuss that being afraid of stigmatization and losing marriage prospects, fear of facing more violence by male family members, and not getting support from family, society, police and the legal system make young girls easier targets of victimization in premarital relationships. By using a qualitative approach and semi-structured interviews with forty-four dating victims, this paper explores experiences of violence and addresses diverse factors that might lead to victimization. I also address some of the mechanisms that lead to the victims’ inability to end abusive relationships.

In: Violence: Probing the Boundaries around the World
Author: Ladan Rahbari

Abstract

The phenomenon of faking orgasms has been the subject of extensive feminist inquiry, but in contemporary Iran, where sex and sexuality remain sensitive and controversial topics, the topic has not received much scholarly attention. This exploratory pilot study uses qualitative methods to explore the prevalence and the reasons for faking orgasms among a group of women living in urban Iran. The study addresses the possible consequences and implications of faking orgasms for women’s sexual life. Eleven female participants took part in the study. The data revealed that the topic was considered taboo even among highly educated working women. It also showed that faking orgasms were related to perceived female moral responsibilities and marital self-sacrifice and the lack of sexual education and knowledge, machismo, male infidelity, porn culture, and sexual performance ideals.

Open Access
In: Religion and Gender
Author: Ladan Rahbari

Abstract

Iran accepts temporary marriage to facilitate and sanctify sexual relationships. The concession of temporary marriage has, however, been the subject of controversy in the past four decades. One significant refutation of temporary marriage is related to its attempted usage in the case of child-adoption, sanctioned by both the state and some Shiʿi mujtahids. The explicated rationale is that an adopted child does not benefit from mahramiyat and is, therefore, non-mahram to members of the adoptive family after reaching puberty. To establish mahramiyat, Shiʿi jurisprudence allows for temporary marriage between the adoptee and a member of the adoptive family. By performing a temporary marriage, new familial ties are established, and mahramiyat limitations are lifted. This proposed solution, however, can lead to other significant legal and social complications. This paper investigates Shiʿi jurisprudence allowing temporary marriage in child-adoption scenarios in contemporary Twelver Shiʿa by exploring relevant fiqh/ijtihad and legal perspectives in Iran.

Open Access
In: Hawwa

The right to the city consists of the right to appropriate spaces and participate in processes therein. Appropriation is referred to having share of the space, using it, owning it and valuing it because it has use value. Participation in the city includes decision making, constructing and living in the urban space. Components of right to the city can be approached from three dimensions, namely the politico-economic, physical and socio-anthropological. Based on the three levels of urban analysis introduced by Henry Lefebvre, the three dimensions can be further categorised. The right to the city has not been realised equally for men and women. Structural constraints have limited women’s participation and appropriation of the city. By extracting the components of the two dimensions of the right to the city, and by applying a quantitative methodological approach, this article aims to investigate gender differences in realisation of right to the city in the Iranian capital city.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science

In this paper, drawing on notions, such as harmful cultural practices and beauty, and based on semi-structured interviews with young female university students in Iran, perceptions and experiences on beauty practices and cosmetic surgery are studied. We show how despite existing criticism of the gendered aspects of beauty practices among Iranian women who practice them, they are still practiced on a large scale. In contemporary Iran, the female body as a contested space for expression of social capital is under influence by the globalized beauty standards that predominantly rely on Western beauty ideals. This article explores beauty practices and positions them in the religious and political discourses of body and corporality in contemporary Iran. This empirical study reveal that despite the popularity of particular practices in Iran, especially nose jobs, beauty is not perceived as a common good but as a necessary evil by young Iranian women. We discuss how beauty is perceived, articulated, practiced and potentially resisted by young women in Iran.

In: Iran and the Caucasus