TEHRAN. – Iran President Hassan Rouhani has appointed three women as vice-presidents and one as a civil rights assistant following criticism of his all-male cabinet.
Iran’s 12 vice-presidents run organisations linked to the presidency. There has been only one female cabinet member since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
The cabinet, which must be approved by parliament, also lacks Sunni members. Sunnis are 10 percent of Shia-majority Iran. Masumeh Ebtekar has been named vice-president for family and women’s affairs, Laya Joneydi is vice-president for legal affairs and Shahindokht Mowlaverdi is the president’s assistant for civil rights.
Ms Mowlaverdi had said the all-male cabinet showed that Iran was “treading water”. Both she and Ms Ebtekar were vice-presidents in Rouhani’s previous government.
Reformists believe the lack of diversity in the new cabinet is a sign that Mr Rouhani is bowing to pressure from Iran’s religious establishment. -