The Islamic Revolution and Women's Role (Part 2)

The Islamic Revolution

According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, enacted in 1980, all men and women...

Representation in the Legislature

According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, enacted in 1980, all men and women enjoy equal rights in their participation or nomination in the election process. However, as is the case in so many other countries, women representatives form a small percentage of the legislature.

The increasing participation of women, both as electors and candidates, as evidenced by their increasing turn-out in successive parliamentary elections, is indicative of women's growing awareness of their own social and political responsibilities. In comparison with previous elections, the number of women representatives in the latest election for the Islamic Consultative Assembly increased by 120 percent. The number of women candidates in this election also increased by 125 percent. Women have a significant role in the organization of various election activities. In fact, 50 percent of the administrative work in elections is carried out by women.

A noteworthy fact is that women representatives of the present Assembly serve as members on a number of important parliamentary committees.

Representation at the Executive Level and in the Private Sector

The Women's Affairs Advisory Post, established at the President’s Office in 1992, is the highest ranking official position held by an Iranian woman. In addition, a number of ministerial counselors are women and 342 women hold general management posts in government organizations. The Women's Social and Cultural Council (WSCC) is another important decision-making institution where fifteen educated professionals draw out plans and submit carefully-studied proposals for the adoption of correct policies on social and cultural issues confronting women.

It must however be mentioned that while the presence of women at higher levels of decision-making is vigorously sought by the organizations that promote women's status, women's activities in the middle echelons of the governmental hierarchy are instrumental in the current planning and execution of projects that benefit woman.

The number of women holding middle-managerial positions is on the increase and women are steadily occupying middle management positions throughout the country. In addition, a great number of women own and operate businesses in manufacturing and trade or handle managerial jobs in private sector companies.

Representation at the Judiciary Level

There has been steady progress in women's representation at high levels of jurisdiction and now women serve as advisors to law courts. At present, the number of women who are registered attorneys-at-law is 185 out of a total of 2,661 registered attorneys. Since 1991, there has been competent and powerful representation of the Judiciary Branch at the Bureau of Women's Affairs attending to women's judicial issues and promoting women's rights.

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