After his inauguration last week, President Rouhani has come under fire for failing to elect a single female minister to his cabinet.
Reportedly, Rouhani has kept half of his cabinet from the previous term including Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabiei and Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh.
Reformists are suggesting that the lack of female presence is an indication that the President has bowed down to political pressures from hardliners.
Rouhani is now serving his second term as President, after beating his hardliner opponent Ibrahim Raesi in the May elections.
In an expression of discontent, 157 MP’s have written a letter to President Rouhani, asking him to nominate a female minister to his cabinet.
In response, Rouhani has announced today that three women will hold vice-president positions. There are a total of 12 vice president positions who run organisations linked to the presidency.
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The Leading Female Politicians in Rouhani’s Presidential Party
Laya Joneidi (twitter)
Masoumeh Ebtekar. (twitter)
Masumeh Ebtekar will be taking on the role of Vice President of Family and Women’s Affairs. Ebtekar was the first woman to serve in a Vice President position back in 1997 under Khatami’s presidency. She was an influential figure during the American ‘hostage crisis’ in 1979 where a group of Iranian students held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, acting as spokesperson for the student group to foreign press.
Shahindokht Molavardi. (Youtube/France24)
Molavardi is an academic, jurist and scholar, now serving as Special Assistant to the President for Citizenship Rights in Rouhani’s newly formed cabinet.
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