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Gender Divisions in Iran

Gender Divisions in Iran | Geography Education |

For my non-Farsi speaking readers, this map displays a 'male' province and a 'female' province.  These two provinces are separated by barbed wire, 20-meter trench and the Great Wall of China with ground-to-air missiles.  


While not a "cartographically accurate" map of the divisions within Iran, it does symbolically highlight the enormous gulf between men and women.  Men and women are not in separate provinces, but what might the symbolic spatial gender division on this map represent for Iranian society? 

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:01 PM

I think this picture shows how Iranian society thinks and operates. There is an entirely different set of rules, ideals, and codes men and women follow in their society. Women are typically held inside, wear head coverings, are not allowed to be in the public sector unless accompanied by a man or her husband. This map isn't real, but it does show that if they were in separate provinces, there would be a gender division that could spring a revolution for women to be educated and empowered, and it could also hurt the economy because ultimately a society needs women to have children to ensure there is a workforce.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 29, 2014 4:16 PM

A map is a very powerful symbol.The image depicted above is no exception. Despite the fact that the division stated above is not physically accurate it is a strong metaphor. In the country of Iran there is a "great wall" dividing the genders. Woman and men are not viewed in the same light. Men have far more rights than woman.This is an ongoing battle and until it is resolved this country will not be complete.


“A house divided against itself cannot stand”-Abraham Lincoln.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:15 PM

An extreme exaggeration that still addresses a real issue in Iran. Although there is no barb wire and missiles that divide genders in Iran there are cultural as well as structural barriers that keep men in the public sphere while women are kept in the private sphere. 

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