ing previously run the environment brief in Rouhani’s office.
Laya Joneydi was appointed as the vice president for legal affairs, while another woman, Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, was named as a special advisor for The head of the newly formed Reformist Women’s Party, Zahra Shojaei, said she was unsurprised by the lack of women ministers given the continued opposition of many lawmakers and powerful religious figures behind the scenes.
A large independent faction of MPs ‘are still not in favour of women ministers’, said Shojaei.
But she said women vice presidents actually have more power than ministers and have already broken the taboo on putting women in positions of authority.
“We have gone past the symbolic stage. Women ministers are important but it’s not our only demand. Even if Rouhani had appointed several women ministers, it would not have solved women’s issues,” she said. She highlighted a number of legal issues - including the need to gain permission from a male relative to leave the country, lower levels of legal compensation and ‘blood money’ for women, and discriminatory inheritance laws - as areas that needed action.
“Rouhani has worked on policies of empowerment for women over the past four years, and we want that to continue, as well as amending laws in parliament.”
The continued fraught issue of gender in Iranian politics was highlighted over the weekend, when EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini led an allwomen team for talks with an allmale Iranian contingent led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani speaks to officials after his swearing in ceremony, in Tehran on August 5