Giving Women Their Political Due

Giving Women Their  Political DueGiving Women Their  Political Due

Training programs in political empowerment of women are being planned to prepare them for the upcoming parliamentary elections, said Shahindokht Molaverdi, vice-president for Women and Family Affairs.

The plan aims to set right gender imbalances in the political sphere.

The possibility for all people to participate in the management of public affairs is at the heart of democracy. In the majority of countries, however, the political arena remains largely dominated by men.

Ten years ago Iran pledged to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to increase the rate of women’s participation in decision-making.  But so far, the promises have remained only on paper “due to serious obstacles in the way, including gender biases and illogical cultural beliefs,” she added.

Women need self-confidence to participate in the political process, Molaverdi said.

“Some people say that women’s participation in the Majlis (Parliament) is low, because women don’t vote for female candidates. This is a wrong attitude and one of the reasons for the insufficient presence of women in Parliament.”

Pointing to the legislative elections to be held on February 25, 2016, she said: “The present global participation rate of women in parliaments is more than 20%, while in our country the rate is barely 3%. Also women’s participation in the government is 9%.”

With a population of nearly 80 million, only 3 to 4 women are in the Supreme Council of Provinces.

“We have decided to hold specialized training courses for women to help them achieve positive electoral successes,” Molaverdi said.


The IPU itself is made up of an equal number of male and female parliamentarians, on the basis of proposals presented by the member parliaments.

 Created in 1889 on the initiative of two parliamentarians and men of peace, William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom) and Frederic Passy (France), the IPU was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations.

The IPU has transformed itself from an association of individual parliamentarians into the international organization of the Parliaments of Sovereign States. It is a center for dialogue and parliamentary diplomacy among legislators representing every political system and all the main political leanings in the world, constituting a unique platform for observing political opinions and global trends.

IPU statutory Assemblies and specialized meetings serve as a testing ground for new ideas and initiatives leading to important breakthroughs in the search for peace and advancing international co-operation.