The brick wall to break: women and the labor market under the hegemony of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Elham Hoominfar*, Nikzad Zanganeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article examines the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) in marginalizing women in the labor market and applies Gramsci’s theory of hegemony to analyze the gender-class characteristics of the women’s labor market in Iran in the post-revolution era. To illustrate the existing gap between the female education rate and female employment after 1979, we have used national data on female education and female participation in the labor market and conducted a secondary analysis of the findings of other studies on women’s labor in Iran. Although the IRI has limited women’s participation in both education and the labor market, the most significant exclusion of women has occurred in the latter. While the influence of Islamic hegemony in this Muslim country legitimized the IRI in the early post-revolution years, this ideology has gradually weakened over the last two decades. This may facilitate the development of a counter-hegemony that can initiate a conscious, collective, and systematic resistance to the ruling Islamic ideology. However, other elements will be needed to conceive of and implement a counter-hegemonic praxis rooted in the current war of position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • counter-hegemony
  • hegemony
  • Iran
  • labor market
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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