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Fed-up Iranian women organize to take more seats in parliament

Only 3% of incumbent Iranian members of parliament are female, but Iranian women are campaigning to drastically change the parliament's huge gender imbalance through the ballot box.

Nine women and 281 men. Such is the composition of the Iranian parliament. Rights activists believe this lopsided gender imbalance is one reason why so many discriminatory laws against women have been passed by the current legislature, in office since 2012. Ahead of the upcoming Feb. 26 parliamentary elections, a group of women's rights activists organized Changing the Male-Dominated Face of the Parliament, a campaign to address the dearth of women in the legislature. 

The campaign criticizes incumbent female members of parliament's failure to pursue women’s rights and also encourages Iranian women to participate in the next elections as candidates as well as voters. The goal, stated on the group's website, is to win “at least 50 seats for egalitarian women.” To achieve this objective, members of the campaign have also formed committees such as Red Cards for Anti-Women Candidates, I Will Be a Candidate and 50 Seats for Egalitarian Women.

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