Iran president appoints three women to top govt posts after taking flack for all-male Cabinet

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani appointed two female vice presidents, after coming under fire from reformists for nominating no women ministers

AFP August 10, 2017 08:34:13 IST
Iran president appoints three women to top govt posts after taking flack for all-male Cabinet

Tehran: Iranian president Hassan Rouhani appointed two female vice presidents on Wednesday, a day after coming under fire from reformists for nominating no women ministers.

Iran president appoints three women to top govt posts after taking flack for allmale Cabinet

File image of Hassan Rouhani. AFP

Massoumeh Ebtekar, known internationally for her role as spokesperson during the 1980 US embassy hostage crisis, was named as vice president in charge of women's affairs, having 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 adviser for citizens' rights.

Rouhani, who had three female vice presidents during his previous term, still has several more deputy positions to fill and it was unclear if any would go to women.

The lack of any women among Rouhani's new ministers, announced on Tuesday, has been strongly criticised by his reformist allies who say he has bowed to pressure from the religious establishment.

Rouhani, a moderate cleric, sailed to victory in May over hardliner Ebrahim Raisi with the backing of reformists after vowing to improve civil liberties and rebuild ties with the West.

But he faces a difficult balancing act in seeking to address popular pressure for reform while assuaging conservative opinion in parliament and other power centres behind the scenes.

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