Turning back the clock

Population policy and human rights in Iran

Authored by: Homa Hoodfar

Routledge Handbook on Human Rights and the Middle East and North Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138807679
eBook ISBN: 9781315750972
Adobe ISBN: 9781317613763

10.4324/9781315750972.ch16

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Abstract

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s introduction of pro-natalist policies in 2012 following twenty-three years of the most successful family planning program in world history is being hotly debated both inside and outside the country. 1 Proponents argue the policies are a needed corrective to ensure population increase to support Iran’s long-term economic growth, self-sufficiency and independence, as well as to maintain a secure Shi`a majority nation for the benefit of Shi`a Muslims worldwide. Opponents claim that the imposition of pro-natal policies is economically foolish given Iran’s high unemployment and under-employment; that the policies are one more attempt by fundamentalist ideologues to engineer their version of Islamic patriarchy; and that they violate human rights, particularly those of women, who are being pressured by the State’s framing of high fertility as women’s national and religious duty.

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