Veiled employment: Islamism and the political economy of women's employment in Iran

Roksana Bahramitash, Hadi Salehi Esfahani

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


The popularity of neoliberal economic policies is based, in part, on the argument that the liberalization of markets promotes growth and increases employment opportunities for women. Although the latest research bears this out, it also presents a grim portrait of the state of women's employment. Approximately seventy percent of those living on less than a dollar a day are women or girls. In Veiled Employment, the editors seek to examine these stark disparities, focusing on the evolving role of women's employment in Iran. Based on empirical field research in Iran, the contributors' essays document the accelerating trend in the size and diversity of women's employment since the 1990s and explore the impact of various governmental policies on women. The volume analyzes such issues as the effect of global trade on female employment, women's contribution to the informal work sector, and Iranian female migrant workers in the United States. Rejecting the commonly held view that centers on Islam as the primary cause of women's status in the Muslim world, the authors emphasize the role of the national and international political economies. Drawing on postcolonial feminist theory, these scholars reveal the ways in which women in Iran have resisted and challenged Islamism, revealing them as agents of social transformation rather than as victims of religious fundamentalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherSyracuse University Press
Number of pages351
ISBN (Print)9780815632139
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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