Iranian women launched their struggle for rights in the early 20th century in an undeveloped society dominated and defined by a rigid patriarchy. Their struggle had to be waged on two fronts: Before they changed men’s view of their social position they needed to educate themselves to the possibility of seeing the world beyond the patriarchal order. The concept of an equitable society, variegated and involved in implication, could not as yet be theorized. Rather, it was contained in and defined by the process of challenging the existing structures and norms; its dialectic forced men and women, caught between the past and the future, to choose their objectives piecemeal; its battles, never ending, was to be fought one by one as the circumstance permitted. It is within this framework that women’s achievement of rights between 1906 and 1978 should be considered and the cost of the reversal forced on the Iranian women by the Islamic Republic judged.