Ronak Karami


Even though Iranian women had a strong presence in the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the Islamic regime imposed new strict rules and regulations on them. Encouraging women to pursue education and take part in society did not improve women’s social position since job opportunities were limited for them. The investment in women’s education was to benefit society and the new regime because the state needed educated mothers at home whose children would ensure the nation’s prosperity. Accordingly, the educational system would be the most efficient way to strengthen traditional sex roles so that at least half of the population would not pose a threat to the Islamic Republic. Whereas the premise that subordinate gender roles for women have been institutionalized since the 1979 Revolution is well-known, this article adds to this knowledge by studying both the textual content and the visual representations of Persian literature textbooks used for the last three grades of high school. The paper aims at, first, observing the presence of gender stereotypes in Persian literature textbooks, and second, illustrating the extent to which these textbooks demonstrate gendered ideologies based on the regime’s Islamic values. This essay’s analysis confirms a pro-male bias in Persian literature textbooks in high school. The results of this research show that women have been underrepresented in titles, dialogues, stories, and pictures. The findings of this study are notable as they help the audience to identify and clarify some of the most significant ideological issues that are being taught to Iranian students nowadays.

Author Biography

Ronak karami is an Iranian researcher who is interested in women and gender studies. She recieved her B.A in English Literature from university of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran. She had started her postgraduate study right after with the Science and Research faculty, Tehran, Iran; however, she withdrew as a result Iran's educational system deficiency; more is explained in her autobiographical essay in this issue of the JIWS.