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Rouhani appoints female VPs, aide amid rising criticism

Iran’s president names three women as deputies and aides amid rising criticism over the lack of female ministers.
Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Masoumeh Ebtekar delivers a speech during the opening session of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015.                  REUTERS/Stephane Mahe - RTX1WKDZ

Facing heightened criticism, Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani has appointed two women as vice presidents and one woman as his aide in an apparent attempt to appease Reformists who had demanded female ministers.

On Aug. 9, Rouhani named Masoumeh Ebtekar as vice president for women’s and family affairs. Prior to this, Ebtekar served as head of the Environmental Protection Organization during the first term of Rouhani’s presidency. The president also appointed Shahindokht Mowlaverdi — who was previously vice president for women’s and family affairs — as his aide on citizenship rights’ affairs. Mowlaverdi enjoys popularity among women for her efforts regarding women’s rights. Reports from the past week had indicated that Mowlaverdi was being considered for the position of minister of education.

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