The Shah on Persian Women
Progress and Emancipation in Iranian Society

The Mossadegh Project | May 10, 2021                     

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Farah Pahlavi

A statement on the role of women in Iran by the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was on his third marriage at the time. Years later, the Shah offered a far more chauvinistic viewpoint in interviews.

An old popular belief in Persia says that man and woman sprang from one plant and were created by God as two equal partners. The first idea they had after their creation was that both should equally contribute to the happiness of the partner.

My country has passed through many astonishing social changes since my father’s accession to the throne. Attentive observers, however, realized that the most revolutionary progress was made in the field of emancipation of the women. It seems to me that a favorable time has come for Persian women to give new sense to their own life and thus to the life of their husbands and children by reevaluating their own necessaries and forces.

I personally welcome any further progress leading to an amplification of the opportunities for women. It is my aim to grant gradually equal rights to men and women.

I have full confidence in our wonderful women some of whom rank undoubtedly among the most charming in the world. I am firmly convinced that they can remain completely feminine and still manage the important part they have to play in the modern Persian society.

An English-language German picture book edited by Dr. Franz Burda. There is also a German edition.


Related links:

The Shah of Iran’s Meeting With Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | July 27, 1966

Exiled Shah of Iran’s Letter to Chase Manhattan Bank’s CEO David Rockefeller (1979)

Iranian Glamor | The Statesman Journal (Oregon), April 30, 1962

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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