Iran Set to Elect Record Number of Women into Parliament

The Guardian

What does it mean to be a reformist in Iran? “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,” said an Italian journalist.

Today as many as 20 women are likely to win membership of the 290 seats in Parliament, including eight from a Tehran reformist list. 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.” Women are finally leaving their mark in the Iranian Parliament for the years to come by increasing their numbers in the government. However, they continue to face discrimination in the midst of their progressive movement.

A wide concern that socialist and university professor, Parvaneh Salahshori, is openly speaking about is the fact that out of these women who are being elected for parliament, most of them are conservative. These women have said that they do not represent women. Salahshori says that these women think differently than reformists, because while their gender may be female, their language is pro men. While women like Salahshori are pro moving women forward in parliament and are fighting discrimination, conservative women like Fatemah Alia, who is one of the nine current women parliament members, says that a woman’s duty is to take care of her husband and bring up her kids.”  

Women like Salahshori, are fighting discrimination. The biggest challenges they are facing are the rules and laws, these rules and laws therefore are causing other challenges like divorce, unemployment and violence against women. Although these women are can vote and drive in Iran, discriminatory laws continue to persist.