Cover image for Inside Iran : women's lives
Inside Iran : women's lives
Howard, Jane Mary, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Mage Publishers, 2002.
Physical Description:
255 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1735.2 .H68 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Written by former BBC correspondent Jane Howard, whose experience took her beyond the headlines and horror stories and into the lives of everyday Iranian women, this book presents the story of struggle and change, documenting what it means to be a woman in Iran.

Author Notes

Jane Howard is a freelance journalist living in Geneva. A graduate of Cambridge University, she worked as a foreign correspondent for BBC World Service and The Guardian, reporting from Turkey, Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe. She covered the fall of Communism in Bulgaria and the war in Croatia and Bosnia. From the beginning of 1996 to the end of 2000, she lived in Iran where her husband was working for the United Nations. She has two sons

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Former BBC correspondent Howard, who covered the fall of communism in Bulgaria and the war in Croatia and Bosnia, here recounts her experiences living in Iran from 1996 to 2000 as the wife of a UN diplomat. Relying heavily on anecdotes about individual women, Howard places in context the history and politics of gender in Iran, making this volume accessible to a popular audience. She attempts to evoke the atmosphere of dinner parties and of rice paddies while noting the differences between the official accounts of women's situation and their real circumstances. She also often focuses on paradoxes; for example, new educational opportunities for girls include university attendance while at the same time they can be married at their father's insistence at age nine. The legal code is harsh, but some women have found ways to circumvent it. Howard's tone is generally optimistic, as she points to the creation of the Centre for Women's Participation in the wake of the Beijing Conference on women, but, sensibly, her optimism is guarded. Recommended for public libraries. Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

British journalist Howard, who resided in Iran in the 1990s when her husband worked for the United Nations there, is interested in the roles of, and attitudes about, women under the Islamic Republic (1979- ). She interviewed many people, prominent and otherwise, during her residence in Tehran and travels in the country. She had a wider range of experiences than most journalists, who often do not venture outside the capital. Howard focuses on women's difficulties since the regime change brought about by the 1979 revolution, but she also attempts to explain the sources of women's resiliency and their fortitude in overcoming restrictions. The author needed more of a comparative perspective for the period before 1979 to show the degree and kind of change that women experienced. Her coverage is broad and seems to be aimed at a general, rather than specialist, audience. She did not conduct any specific research for the book, and much of her discussion is anecdotal and personal; but she offers a view of Iran that outsiders rarely see. The volume contains helpful photographs; bibliography and index are short. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates. L. Beck Washington University

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 9
1. All the President's Womenp. 11
2. Births, Marriages, Divorces and Deathsp. 25
3. Twentieth-Century Woman & the Sun Ladyp. 43
4. Working Womenp. 61
5. Knowledge from Cradle to Gravep. 79
6. You Can Leave Your Scarf On...p. 99
7. Families in the Form of Political Partiesp. 119
8. Making the Newsp. 141
9. The Nightingale and the Rosep. 157
10. Making Your Own Freedomp. 179
11. The Nomad's Life and Journey's Endp. 199
12. Not Without My Childrenp. 213
Epiloguep. 231
Acknowledgmentsp. 239
Bibliographyp. 241
Indexp. 245