1000 GMT March 21, 2019
Women make up 41 percent of all employees in Iran’s public sector, said vice president for women’s affairs, adding that females have been employed in senior managerial positions in recent years.
“At present, 28 women hold positions as deputy ministers or have equal-ranking jobs.” Masoumeh Ebtekar said in an interview with state TV, reported ISNA on Saturday.
The number of women occupying senior managerial positions has doubled in the past year, she said.
The increase comes as President Hassan Rouhani has directed state bodies to earmark 30 percent of all managerial positions to women.
Commenting on the presidential order, Ebtekar said the order highlights the strong presence of women in state bodies in which 41 percent of the jobs are held by women.
Ebtekar added, “27 percent of Iranian women have higher education and 30 percent of university faculty members are womenl.” This is in huge contrast with the numbers before the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when only five percent of women had the chance to study at universities.
Last year a female CEO was appointed to lead Iran’s national airline for the first time since it was established in the 1940s.
The transport minister appointed Farzaneh Sharafbani, 44, who holds a PhD in aerospace engineering and previously served on the board of directors at Iran Air.
In 2015, Iran appointed its first female ambassador. Marzieh Afkham, who was the country’s first foreign ministry spokeswoman, took the helm of the country’s mission in Malaysia.
In addition, in the current parliament there are 17 women lawmakers, the first largest representation of women in the 290-member elected chamber in 16 years, after the fifth parliament (1996-2000) which had 14 women lawmakers.
The highest ranking position ever held by a women in the Islamic Republic was that of a cabinet minister. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi was appointed under Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
No women currently hold a ministerial role, but Rouhani appointed three women as members of his cabinet, two as vice-presidents and one as his assistant.
Ebtekar also hailed the Iranian women athletes and “their bright performance” in recent Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta.
“Out of the 300-strong sports delegation sent by Iran to the Games, 103 were women, that is more than one third, who could grab 16 medals out of the total of 60 bagged by Iranian athletes,” she added.