History Internal Assessment: To what extent did T

Essay by KeirCollege, Undergraduate October 2005

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A. Plan of the investigation.

In Persia of 1848, Táhirih took off her veil in the presence of an assemblage of religious leaders of her time in contradiction to the customs and authorities of the land. The aim of this investigation is to examine the significance of this event within the context of the position of women in Persian society at the time and its effect in acting as a catalyst for the process of the emancipation of women. The investigation will be carried out through examining both primary and secondary sources --- accounts of the event by people who were there, commentaries on its significance written after the event itself, personal experience, and foundations that sprung up in response to the event. An analysis of all these sources and their reliability should lead to a conclusion of to what extent the event acted as a catalyst for the process of the emancipation of women.

B. Summary of evidence

1. Background: the position of women. Their role and how they were perceived in their family and society before and during 1848 in Persia.

Persia is what has been called Iran since 1935. Islam has had a massive influence on Persian culture throughout it's history. During the 19th century, women in Persia held a very low position in society. Some religious leaders of the time even relegated women to "a rank little higher than that of animals" . To wear a veil was "the immemorial custom" of the women of Persia and to relinquish it was unimaginable to the people of the time. Speaking with men was considered very impolite and women who did speak to men did so from behind a curtain . The painting to the right shows women veiled and associating only with women. Women were denied an...