Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


This paper aims to shed lights on many petitions that were submitted by women to the first and second Majlis in the early Constitutional period, by referring to four elements of citizenship rights, namely, Equality, Liberty, Security and Property. To do so, the paper has been organized in two separate and simultaneously correlative sections. The first section has been devoted to analyzing the nature and history of citizen and citizenship, and two substantial conclusions have been drawn. The first is that, based on the second article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen from the Constitution of Year I (1793), the rights of Man and Citizen are equality, liberty, security, and property. Second is that the rights of Man and Citizen are extremely indivisible or better to say incapable of being separated and applied to either to Man or to the citizen. In other words, they belong to Man and Citizen at the same time. Drawing upon the issues discussed in the first part of the paper, and highlighting the fact that little research has been done to analyze the content of women’s petitions in terms of citizenship rights, the second part of the paper will analyze the content of these petitions and will demonstrate that, despite the specific content of these petitions – largely centered on financial claims, property disputes, defense of individual and family rights, their form of presentation and in particular the content of these petitions point to their significance in women’s perceptions of their own position as citizens of a new form of government. The paper will conclude with some reflections about the position of women in this period as modern subjects demanding their equal citizenship rights and recognition – an unfinished project.