With reformist-backed candidates securing a sweeping victory in Tehran, and moderates leading in provinces, a record number of women are set to enter the next Iranian parliament. Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament. Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as “the list of hope”. Among them is Parvaneh Salahshori, a 51-year-old sociologist and university professor originally from Masjed Soleyman, in the south of Iran. Her husband, Barat Ghobadian, also a university professor, was disqualified from running. As the results were being counted, an interview surfaced online showing Salahshori speaking out about discrimination against women in Iran, pleasing many women’s rights advocates. She also said women should be able to choose whether or not to wear the hijab, a taboo subject in the Islamic Republic.
When asked by an Italian journalist what it meant to belong to reformists in Iran, she said: “It means that we want change, it means that we want to empower our women, we want to empower our young people and we want to grow our economy.”
Salahshori criticised the nine existing female MPs, who mostly belong to the conservative camp, saying that they did not represent women. “They think completely differently from us [reformists],” she told Corriere della Sera. “They are against women, I think some women are against women and these women are not women, only their gender is female, but their language is pro-men.”
One of the nine current female MPs, Fatemeh Alia, a conservative, came under a great deal of criticism after saying that women should not enter stadiums alongside male fans to watch volleyball matches. “A woman’s duty is to take care of her husband and bring up her kids, not to go watch volleyball,” she has previously said.
Full Article: Iran set to elect record number of women into parliament | World news | The Guardian.