SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Sexual Politics through law in Iran: The narrative surrounding the 2013 bills

Anicee van Engeland, Centre for International Security and Resilience (CISR), Cranfield University

Date: 25 April 2018Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 25 April 2018Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: MBI Al Jaber Building, 21 Russell Square Room: MBI Al Jaber Seminar Room

Type of Event: Seminar

The struggle to control women’s destinies and bodies through law is a well-known occurrence. The Islamic republic of Iran is no stranger to such attempts, and in 2013, the conservative Majles introduced two bills: the Bill to increase Fertility Rates and Prevent Population Decline (Bill 446) and the Comprehensive Population and Exaltation of Family Bill (Bill 315). These bills were the outcome of the Guide Ayatollah Khameini’s decision that family planning should be reformed and policies on population control should be lifted. Altogether, these laws challenge sexual and reproductive rights as guaranteed under several international law documents ratified by Iran. The purpose of this presentation is to look into the two bills to extract the conservative Shia thought lingering behind them, and critically examine it before moving to study the strategy to promote such views inside the republic. The overall lens will be that of the protection and implementation of women’s rights from an Islamic and a universalist perspectives, looking at traditional women’s rights paradigms.

Dr Anicee van Engeland is a senior lecturer in International Security at the Centre for International Security and Resilience (CISR) at Cranfield University. She holds a PhD in Islamic Studies, Politics and Law from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. She graduated in law from Paris II Assas and furthered her studies with three masters: a masters in law from Harvard Law School, a masters in international relations from Paris II Assas and a masters in Iranian studies from Paris III Sorbonne. She worked for the ICRC prior to joining academia and has worked with different international organisations and non-governmental organisations over since. Anicée has held visiting lectureship at Cardiff University, Nagoya University and Azad Universitty; she has also held research visiting position at Harvard Law School and the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. Her research interests lie in international law and Islamic law; she has published articles and book chapters on the topic, looking at issues of fragmentation and reconciliation. She examines strategies to reconcile Islamic law and international law (human rights and humanitarian law) to avoid fragmentation. Her research has led her to work on conflict, security and peace in Islam and Islamic law. While at CIRS, Anicée focuses on examining the legal and political discourses of radical groups and how it impacts international law. She also works from a bottom-up perspective, analysing the actions of Muslim communities on (de)radicalisation.

Chair: Dr Nima Mina, SOAS

Organised by: Department of Near and Middle East Studies and the Department of Politics and International Studies in collaboration with the Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS.

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4315