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Losing faith in Rouhani, Iranian women ever defiant

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s failure to nominate a single female Cabinet minister is leading women to lose faith in his promises — but not hope in their future.

“Women get absolutely zero for supporting [Hassan] Rouhani! If we hadn’t voted in this election, does Rouhani think he would have gotten re-elected with the numbers he did?” Leila, a 34-year-old women’s rights activist, shot off in an angry text on Telegram after it was revealed that Iran’s president had not nominated any women to join his second-term Cabinet. “Even [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad had a woman as a minister!” Ava responded in the private group for young women’s rights activists, referring to the conservative former president’s 2009 appointment of Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi as the Islamic Republic’s first female minister. She served as health minister.

“This is a joke. How disrespectful to all the women who supported him,” added Fatemeh, a 25-year-old political science student. Most of these young women do not know each other — they are activists scattered across the country — but they share each other’s anger at the president as he begins his second term.

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