'Long and difficult' path to political equality for Iran women

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'Long and difficult' path to political equality for Iran women


Women supporters of Iran's presidential election favourite, ultraconservative judicary chief Ebrahim Raisi, attend a campaign rally in the city of Eslamshahr, just south of Tehran - AFP/File

Iranian women's poor political representation could be set to worsen under an ultraconservative poised to win next week's presidential election.

Ebrahim Raisi, who heads Iran's judiciary, is the clear favourite from an all-male field of seven candidates to replace President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate elected on promises of social and cultural reform.

Women's rights campaigners in Iran have criticised Rouhani for breaking his promises to create a women's ministry and appoint three female ministers -- instead presiding over a decrease in women's representation over his two terms in office.

Only two women -- Massoumeh Ebtekar, vice president for women and families, and Laya Joneydi, vice president for legal affairs -- are represented in Rouhani's outgoing executive.

Unlike ministerial positions, the posts of vice president do not require parliamentary approval, and critics have accused Rouhani of not daring to submit female ministerial nominations to parliament for approval, even when moderates held a majority.

Now, after conservatives and ultraconservatives swept last year's parliamentary elections, the chances of an ultraconservative president doing so seem even less likely.

Click here to read the full article published by France 24 on 9 June 2021.

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