TEHRAN, Iran — A central part of President Hassan Rouhani’s campaign for re-election ahead of Iran’s May 19 balloting focused on addressing the demands of female voters. Emphasizing women’s rights more than any other candidate, the moderate Rouhani promised Iranian women equal employment opportunities and access to better services if elected to a second term. Now, women expecting the president to fulfill his promises have launched various campaigns to demand that he appoint women as ministers in his second-term Cabinet.
Using a Persian hashtag that translates as #NoToTheModerate’sMaleCabinet, women’s rights activists have turned to Twitter and other social media networks to push for a more active role for women in managing the country. These efforts are nothing new; many first used the hashtag during a Cabinet reshuffle in October to push Rouhani to introduce female nominees for three ministerial posts he was seeking to change — the ministers of youth affairs and sports, of education and of culture and Islamic guidance.