Fluctuations and Paradoxes in Family Policy in Post-Revolutionary Iran

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Zahra MAHDAVI MAZINANI, Imam Khomeini Research Institute, Iran
The Iranian post-Revolutionary Constitution values family as the main and 'holy' social institution which builds the fundamental unit and cornerstone of the society. Successive governments have claimed to arrange their efforts in line with this vital principle of the Iranian Islamic welfare system. However, various pragmatic drivers (including socio-cultural changes in family and gender roles) have caused fluctuations and paradoxes to occur within the family policy of the country. Adopting a socio-historical perspective, the present paper addresses these fluctuations and paradoxes which includes inter alia: the paradox between activating head of household women and promoting the care giver role of women; the paradox between promoting male breadwinner model of family (and welfare) and the increasing entry of women into the labor force; the paradox between family planning and birth control due to pragmatic problems and ideological principles which promote fertility; The challenge of encouraging young people for early marriage while social changes (such as constant increase in the age of first marriage and childbirth, high and rising unemployment, more tolerant attitudes toward premarital relationship, and increase in single person households) occur in the opposite direction.