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Home » Gender Relations » Historically Significant Women of Iran and the Neighbouring Countries
 
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GENDER RELATIONS
Historically Significant Women of Iran and the Neighbouring Countries
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Last Updated: October, 2009
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Around 1520s Tajlu Khanoom, or Shah Begi Begum, Safavid Dynasty

Favourite wife of Shah Isma'il Safavi, donated many of her numerous properties to the shrine of Ma'suma in Mashhad, patronized other buildings at the shrine, built the dome of the Jannatsara at the shrine of the Safavid ancestor Shaykh Safi at Ardabil, and the domed tomb of Shah Isma'il at Ardabil in 1524.

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Around 1530s Mahin Banu, Safavid Dynasty

Daughter of Tajlu Khanoom, patronized shrines and places of pilgrimage; set up foundations with her income from properties in Shirvan, Tabriz, Qazvin, Ray, and Isfahan; and established an endowment for the welfare of women.

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Around 1570s Zaynab Begum, Safavid Dynasty

Shah 'Abbas' unmarried aunt, built bridges and caravanserais along the Qazvin-Sava trade route.

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1577-79 De-facto joint ruler Queen Mahid-I Uliyah of Safavid Dyanasty

Also known as Mahd-i Olya, she initially dominated her husband, Mohammad Shah, who succeeded his brother, Shah Esma'il II, who was a brutal a pro-Sunni ruler who was poisoned with the participation of their sister Pari Khan Khanoom after only one year at the throne. Mohammad proved to be a weak leader, but after her assassination in 1579 the Qezelbash took control. Meanwhile Ottomans took advantage of Iran's political turmoil to launch a major invasion of the country. Consequently extensive territories were lost to Ottomans, including most of Azerbaijan, with Tabriz, and Georgia. The Safavid Dynasty was of Turkmen origin and established themselves first at Tabriz, which had been the capital of the Mongol Il Khans, in Turkish speaking Azerbaijan. They also brought the Shi'ite branch of Islam to Persia.

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Around 1620s Dilaram Khanoom,

The grandmother of Shah 'Abbas II, constructed the Caravanserai Jadda in 1642-45, the Caravanserai Nim Avard in the 1640's, the Madrasa of Small Grandmother in 1645-46, and the Madrasa of Large Grandmother in 1647-48. The caravanserais sold rich Indian cloths and other goods from both India and Shiraz. Additionally, Dilaram Khanoom gave both madrasas special income from waqf (dedications of religious trust income).

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Around 1660s Sahib Sultan Begum,

Daughter of the physician and ambassador Hakim Nizam al-Din Muhammad, built the Ilchi Mosque in Isfahan in 1678-79. The mosque was famous for its sound acoustics.

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Around 1650s The unnamed mother of Shah 'Abbas II commissioned the construction of the Masjid-i Jami of 'Abbasabad in the mid 17th century.

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Around 1670s Izzat al-Nisa Khanum, Daughter of the merchant Mirza Khan Tajir of Qum and wife of Mirza Muhammad Mahdi, built the Madrasa Mirza Hussein in 1687-88.

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Around 1690s Maryam Begum, daughter of Shah Safi, built a mansion in the early 18th century and a madrasa in 1703-04.

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Around 1690s Shahr Banu, sister of Shah Sultan Hussein, built the Madrasa of the Princes and the Bathhouse of the Princes in 1694-1722.

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Around 1690s Zinat Begum, wife of the physician Hakim al-Mulk Ardistani, built the Madrasa Nim Avard in 1705-06.

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Around 1700s

An anonymous courtesan constructed the "mansion of the twelve tumans," (the price charged by the madam for a client's first visit) in the early 17th century, which had the walls and ceiling decorated in gold and silver.

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1746-70 Sovereign Princess Irdana Bi Erdeni of Khokanda (Uzbekistan)

She was succeeded by Sulaiman who reigned for less than a year as Prince of Khokanda, which is a city near Tashkent, now located in a far eastern part of Uzbekistan. Founded in 1732, it stands on the site of the ancient city of Khavakend, obliterated by the Mongols in the 3rd century. It was ruled by the Dzungarian Kalmucks until 1758, when it became part of China.

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Around 1780s Jani Khanoom (I), Qajar Dynasty Fath Ali Shah'a wife, daughter of Ebrahim Khan Taleshi. She had two children who did not survive infancy.

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Around 1780s Jani Khanoom (II), Qajar Dynasty Fath Ali Shah'a wife,from the Sadat of Mazandaran.

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Around 1780s , Khanoom Kouchak, Qajar Dynasty Daughter of Mohammad Taghi Khan and great great grand-daughter of Karim Khan Zand.

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Around 1780s Khadijeh Khanom, Qajar Dynasty From Jewish origin, she had two children who did not survive infancy. (76th wife of Fath Ali Shah).

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Around 1780s Khadijeh Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty Jewish origin. (156 wife of Fath Ali Shah).

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Around 1780s Khadijeh Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty Daughter of Mohammad Khan Ezzodinlou Qajar. She bore a child that did not survive infancy. She died of poison by the hand of her maid-servant because she opposed her maid-servant's desire to marry. 

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Around 1780s Khajeh Baji, Qajar Dynasty Responsible for the personal articles of toiletry of Fath Ali Shah, e.g. mirror, comb, and other personal effects.

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Late 1700s Arezou Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty

From the Shahsavan tribal group, she was married to Fath Ali Shah to seal a union between the Qajar and Shahsavan tribes both of Turkic ancestry.

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Late 1700s Assieh Khanoom (I), Qajar Dynasty

Daughter of Fath Ali Khan Davallou Qajar, was married to Fath Ali Shah to seal a union between the two branches of the Qajar grup. Mother of Abbas Mirza Nayeb-Saltaneh and Ali Shah Mirza Zell-es-Soltan and Gohar Moolk Khanom. She was buried in Kerbela.

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Late 1700s Assieh Khanoom (II), Qajar Dynasty

Daughter of Mohammad Khan Qovanlou Qajar, sister of Suleyman Khan Nezam-ed-Dowleh Qovanlou Qajar. She was first married to Mehdi Qoli Khan Qovanlou Qajar (brother of Agha Mohammad Khan), uncle of Fath Ali Shah, and is the mother Ebrahim Khan Zahir-ed-Dowleh from that marriage. After the death of Mehdi Qoli Khan, she joined the harem of Fath Ali Shah as his wife on the orders of Agha Mohammad Khan. She died in Mazandaran.

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Late 1700s Agha Begum (I), (also known as Agha Baji), Qajar Dynasty

Daughter of Ebrahim Khalil Khan Shishe'i, governor of Qarabagh. After the death of Assieh Khanom II, she married Fath Ali Shah as his wife, but the marriage was not consummated. She died in Qom and is buried there.

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Late 1700s Late 1700s Agha Begom (II), Qajar Dynasty Daughter of Seyyed Morad Khan Zand. She had no issue.

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Late 1700s Agha Begom (III), Qajar Dynasty Descendant of the Safavid shahs was given to Fath Ali Shah to seal political union.

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Late 1700s Ahou Khanoom  An Armenian concubine of Fath Ali Shah.

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Late 1700s Badr-e Jahan Khanoom, wife of Fath Ali Shah and daughter of Mohammad Ja'ffar Khan Arab, governor of Bestam, mother of Hossein Ali Mirza Farman Farma and Hassan Ali Mirza Shoja'-ol-Saltaneh and three daughters: Homayoun Soltan, Begom Jan, and Seyyed Begom.

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Late 1700s Badr-ol-Nessa Khanoom, daughter of Hajji Mostafa Qoli Khan Qovanlu Qajar (brother of Agha Mohammad Khan), uncle of Fath Ali Shah. She had one child that did not survive infancy. She divorced Fath Ali Shah and went on the Hajj to Mecca but died on her return. She was buried in Kerbela.

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Late 1700s Banafsheh Badaam (or, more likely, Neghieh Badaam), from the Azarbaijan Armenians, mother of Allahverdi Mirza a concubine of Fath Ali Shah.

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Late 1700s Khatoun Jan Khanoom (II) (Hajjieh), daughter of Mohammad Ali Khan Zand, son of Karim Khan Zand. Mother of Shah Gholi Mirza.

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Late 1700s Khanom Jan Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty Daughter of Mohammad Ali Khan Zand, soLate 1700s Ahou Khanoom, an Armenian concubine of Fath Ali Shah.

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Late 1700s Badr-e Jahan Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty

Wife of Fath Ali Shah and daughter of Mohammad Ja'ffar Khan Arab, governor of Bestam, mother of Hossein Ali Mirza Farman Farma and Hassan Ali Mirza Shoja'-ol-Saltaneh and three daughters: Homayoun Soltan, Begom Jan, and Seyyed Begom.

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Late 1700s Badr-ol-Nessa Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty

Daughter of Hajji Mostafa Qoli Khan Qovanlu Qajar (brother of Agha Mohammad Khan), uncle of Fath Ali Shah. She had one child that did not survive infancy. She divorced Fath Ali Shah and went on the Hajj to Mecca but died on her return. She was buried in Kerbela.

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Late 1700s Banafsheh Badaam (or, more likely, Neghieh Badaam), Qajar Dynasty From the Azarbaijan Armenians, mother of Allahverdi Mirza a concubine of Fath Ali Shah.

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Late 1700s Khatoun Jan Khanoom (II), Qajar Dynasty Daughter of Mohammad Ali Khan Zand, son of Karim Khan Zand. Mother of Shah Gholi Mirza.

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Late 1700s Khanom Jan Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty An Armenian concubine of Fath Ali Shah.

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Late 1700s Badr-e Jahan Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty

Wife of Fath Ali Shah and daughter of Mohammad Ja'ffar Khan Arab, governor of Bestam, mother of Hossein Ali Mirza Farman Farma and Hassan Ali Mirza Shoja'-ol-Saltaneh and three daughters: Homayoun Soltan, Begom Jan, and Seyyed Begom.

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Late 1700s Badr-ol-Nessa Khanoom, Qajar Dynasty

Daughter of Hajji Mostafa Qoli Khan Qovanlu Qajar (brother of Agha Mohammad Khan), uncle of Fath Ali Shah. She had one child that did not survive infancy. She divorced Fath Ali Shah and went on the Hajj to Mecca but died on her return. She was buried in Kerbela.

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Late 1700s Banafsheh Badaam (or, more likely, Neghieh Badaam), Qajar Dynasty

From the Azarbaijan Armenians, mother of Allahverdi Mirza a concubine of Fath Ali Shah.

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Late 1700s Khatoun Jan Khanoom (II) (Hajjieh), Qajar Dynasty

Daughter of Mohammad Ali Khan Zand, son of Karim Khan Zand. Mother of Shah Gholi Mirza . She was married to Fath Ali Shah.

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1821 Regent Dowager Princess Thamar of Abkhazia (Georgia)

After the death of her husband, Prince Giorgi Shirvashidze (1810-21) she was regent for their son Prince Dimitri Giorgievitch Shirvashidze (originally known as Umar Bey), who was poisoned after one year's reign. She was daughter of Katsia II Dadiani, Duke of Dukes of Mingrelia, and mother of four sons and six daugthers. (b. 1790).

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