Women and Political Leadership in an Authoritarian Context: A Case Study of the Sixth Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M., and Fatemeh Haghighatjoo. 2016. “Women and Political Leadership in an Authoritarian Context: A Case Study of the Sixth Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Politics & Gender 12 (01): 168–97. doi:10.1017/S1743923X15000598.

Authors: Valentine M. Moghadam, Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

Abstract:

When Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, presented his proposed Cabinet to the Majles (parliament) in August 2013, one issue brought up in social media was the strange silence of the women members throughout the intensive four-day sessions to assess the ministerial nominees' programs before the vote of confidence. None of the nine women parliamentary members (MPs) used the podium to object that the president had not nominated any woman as minister. Only on social media and Persian language television was there criticism for the absence of women ministers. Eventually, Rouhani promised to include a woman in his Cabinet and to promote women in middle managerial positions. Not only was this tokenism evidence of gender-blindness, but it also evinced historical amnesia, as it overlooked the intense campaigning for women's greater participation and rights on the part of the 13 women members of Iran's Sixth Majles during the reform era coinciding with President Mohammad Khatami's two terms (1997–2005). That parliament is notable for its commitment to political and cultural reform and for the caucus that agitated for women's greater presence. Among its accomplishments were passage of the UN's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from puberty to 13; and removing the ban on single young women traveling abroad on state scholarships.

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, International Law, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2016

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.