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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Historical Studies (CHS)

CGS Lecture - DONYA AHMADI: "Overlooked No More: The Iranian Feminist Movement and the Case for an Intersectional Women’s Rights Agenda"

When:We 13-04-2022 16:00 - 17:00
Where:Room 1314.0014

Lecture organized by the Centre for Gender Studies.


Iranian women have a rich and long-standing legacy of political activism. The origins of the Iranian women’s movement can be traced back to the emergence of independent women’s groups and periodicals during the constitutional revolution of the early twentieth century. Despite women’s active presence and contributions to the political developments of the past century, contemporary historical narratives, by and large, remain characterized by gender-blindness. The present article problematizes the systemic sidelining of women’s causes and contributions, not only in the field of historiography, but in Iranian politics at large. It shows that throughout the twentieth century, women’s bodies repeatedly emerged as sites of political contestation while their causes were simultaneously instrumentalized and erased out of the masculinist political debate. It ultimately posits that the gendering of history constitutes a vital first step towards developing an Iranian intersectional feminist agenda.

About the speaker

Donya Ahmadi is an intersectional feminist scholar and assistant professor of International Relations at the University of Groningen. Her current research concerns an intersectional and race-critical analysis of the notion of assimilation of Iran’s various historically-rooted ethnic groups into a centralized identity, and how this process of assimilation is gendered, class- based and racial, manifested through everyday practices, and fuels migration within and without Iran.