A record 17 women were elected to Iran’s parliament after a run-off election on Friday — the highest number of women elected since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The election, held in parts of the country where candidates had not been able to win a minimum proportion of the vote last February, was a victory for President Hassan Rouhani with moderates and reformists winning a working majority for the first time in over a decade.
Women now make up 6 percent of the new cohort of 290 MPs, a feat for which Rouhani congratulated voters, saying: “People chose the best candidates in the 26 February and 29 April elections.” The new parliament will only include sixteen cleric MPs now, meaning that for the first time there will be more women than religious leaders. Islamic hardliners see this as a threat to the Islamic revolution, ending their 12-year dominance over parliament in what the BBC’s Kasra Naji called “a major shift in public support away from hardline Islamic conservatives.”
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