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Women win big in Iran's parliamentary elections

The number of women in Iran's next parliament is set to double compared to the incumbent parliament.
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The Islamic Republic’s 10th parliamentary elections have yielded a significant victory not only for Reformists, but also for women pushing for change in Iranian society. While the final nationwide results are not expected until March 1; early numbers show twice the number of female members as in the previous parliament. Though ballots from many districts are still uncounted, it is clear that the number of women will reach at least 22. Thus far, 15 women have won seats in Parliament, and 14 of them are Reformists. These include all eight women on the Reformist-moderate “List of Hope” in Tehran, where the results are set to be finalized on Feb. 29.

“This election is significant because it represents the first time women’s rights activists from across the political spectrum inside and outside Iran came together to push for more women to run and fill seats in the [parliament],” Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a parliament member who famously stood up to hard-liners, said in an interview with Al-Monitor. Living in exile in Boston today after resigning in protest in 2004, Haghighatjoo, herself among the youngest lawmakers when she was elected in 2000. She said, “The young generation in Iran is the biggest segment of society, and it is important to have women sitting in parliament to bring their issues to the fore.”

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