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Iran promises more female MPs

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Iranian_womenShahrzad News - Only one of the 192 countries in the world has fewer female MPs than Iran. This indefensible situation has led to calls from women’s organisations for a higher number after the February 2012 parliamentary elections.  

General Secretary of the Zaynab Women’s Association Maryam Behroozi told Atee News that it has been proposed to the government that where cities have more than two representatives, at least one should be a woman. Cities with five MPs should include at least two women. If the plan succeeds, at least ten of Tehran’s thirty MPs would be women.  

“To ensure that we get the right proportion of women in the Majles (parliament), there should be a separate election campaign for women, in which only women may put themselves forward as candidates.”  

Mrs Behroozi added that the proposal would initially be sent for consultation to the head of the women’s parliamentary faction. When fifteen MPs had given their approval it would be debated, and if successful would then become law.  

Currently only nine of Iran’s 290 MPs are women. Even in Iraq and Afghanistan the numbers are much higher.  

Female MP Effat Shariati says the current electoral system bars women from greater participation in parliamentary elections.  

“When female MPs from other Muslim countries ask us why Iran has so few, we have no answer. Many of our experts in the fields of law and the constitution are women, but discrimination both in parliament and other governmental organs bars them from wider participation in our legislative bodies. We urge the national media to give more coverage to this important issue.”