Ebtekar: I Asked Guardian Council to Approve a Woman

Masoumeh Ebtekar, the Vice President for Women’s and Family Affairs, said that she had written to the Secretary of the Guardian Council to approve a woman for the first time in Iran’s history. Referring to the Constitutional definition of a presidential candidate, Ebtekar said “I asked the Guardian Council to approve a woman among the candidates for the first time to help revive the country's social capital”.

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“No Candidate Has Ever Been Rejected for Being a Woman”

Hadi Tahan-Nazif, the youngest member of the Guardian Council, said in an interview that no candidate has ever been rejected because of their gender. When pressed on the issue, Tahan-Nazif said “women have registered and been rejected because they did not qualify” adding that “if the Guardian Council had such a ban, it would have told the Interior Ministry not to register women”. Tahan-Nazif blamed the media for creating an issue around the approval of female candidates.

Read the interview at Etemad

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Molaverdi: We Are Fighting to Prove that Women are also Rajol-e Siasi

In commenting on Zahra Shojaei’s nomination for President, lawyer and Presidential advisor Shahindokht Molaverdi wrote on Instagram: “Unfortunately, in 1400 (2021), in the 21st century, we still see that being a man is considered a criterion for being human”. Molaverdi added that “the registration of Zahra Shojaei is a serious test for the Guardian Council; she is a political and religious figure (shakhsiyat-e siasi va mazhabi). Let women be among political people (rejal-e-siasi) andmen so that they can enjoy their most basic human right, which is the right to be elected”.

Read more at IMNA.

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Female Candidates were 7% of Total

Seven percent of the 592 candidates who registered were women. This is consistent with the numbers from the last election where 8% were women, despite a two-third drop in the number of nominations. Eighty percent of candidates were under 40, which indicates that one in five candidates nominated despite the Guardian Council’s recent exclusion of candidates under 40 or over 75.

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Eftekhari: Vahid-Dastjerdi has the Qualifications to be President

Laleh Eftekhari, a former member of Parliament and member of the Women’s Advisory Council in the Principalist Unity Council, yesterday stated that among Iranian women, Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi had the qualifications to be President, having served in the cabinet previously but that “she herself must be willing to take this step” before Principalists would consider supporting her candidacy. In the same interview, Eftekhari expressed support for Ebrahim Raisi as a unifying candidate.

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Tejarat Covers Women Candidates

Tejarat published an analysis on the possibility of women candidates in this election. In previous elections, women have been able to nominate but have never been approved, partially due to the wording of the Constitutional law on the criteria for President, the meaning of which is in dispute. Last year, a spokesperson for the Guardian Council, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, said that women were not excluded by law, although it has been unclear whether this was his personal opinion or that of the Guardian Council. So far, two women, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani and Sara Fadaei, both academics, have announced their candidacy, but the analysis also speculated that several other women might nominate. These include Elham Aminzadeh (former Vice President for Legal Affairs), Masoumeh Ebtekar (Vice President for Women and Families), Shahindokht Molaverdi (former Rouhani cabinet member), Zahra Nejad-Bahram (Tehran city councillor), and Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi (former Ahmadinejad cabinet minister). Faezeh Hashemi is the most prominent to nominate so far, although she does not expect to be approved: “Since I have a prison record, and am facing another case and a sentence, I will definitely be disqualified. But since I believe in women registering for elections, I will do so symbolically”.

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Rafsanjani’s Widow: “There is Nothing a Woman Cannot Do”

Effat Marashi, the widow of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and the mother of female candidate Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, shares her thoughts on the prospects of Iranian woman becoming President. In a veiled challenge to the Guardian Council, which has always disqualified female candidates, she stated, “if there is a woman who has the power to do this important job, she has the right to become President and no one can take that right away from her”. When asked if she thought a woman could run the country, Marashi swiftly replied “There is nothing that women can’t do”.

Read excerpts from the interview on Khabaronline

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Laya Joneydi: Law is Clear, Women can be President

Laya Joneydi, the Vice President for Legal Affairs, told ISNA that the law does not exclude women, and that anyone who argues otherwise, including in the Guardian Council, needs to provide evidence to support their view. The dispute centres on Article 115 of the Constitution, which outlines the criteria for the President. The article uses the word “rajol”, an Arabic word for man; some argue that this word excludes women, while others interpret it to mean “humanity”, thereby including women. Joneydi, a senior lawyer, argues for the latter view, although she herself has no intention to run for President.

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