Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Motherhood: Iran, Afghanistan, and South Asia
(1,774 words)

In this area, motherhood is at the very center of female identity, activity, and construction. “Paradise lies at the foot of the mother,” a ḥadīth states. Motherhood brought status to females, and acceptance from parents-in-law. Newly married women were expected to have children as soon as possible. With the birth of her first child, especially if it was a son, a bride began her ascent from the lower end of family position. Her position generally continued to improve with the birth and growing up of more children. Moth…

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Hegland, Mary Elaine, “Motherhood: Iran, Afghanistan, and South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 29 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0119d>
First published online: 2009

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