Women Stronger with 17 members in New Majlis

Women Stronger with 17 members in New MajlisWomen Stronger with 17 members in New Majlis

The unprecedented number of women lawmakers in the incoming Majlis (parliament) will facilitate new laws in areas relating to women issues, said a newly-elected MP in a recent interview with Azad University News Agency.

A total of 17 women secured seats in the parliamentary elections held on February 26 and the run-offs on April 29. The 290-member parliament will convene by the end of the month.

This is the first largest representation for women in the elected legislature after the fifth Majlis (1996-2000) which had 14 women members. Over 580 women contested in the primary round of elections for the 10th parliament among the 4,800 candidates in the race. The number of registered female candidates for this year’s election was three times higher than the number who registered in the previous (2012) poll. The outgoing chamber has nine women.

“Women’s presence in various activities within the government and private sector and greater public awareness, has gone hand-in-hand in achieving the results” in favor of women, said Parvaneh Mafi, as reported by the online portal for the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs.

Mafi, 58, elected from Tehran, has a master’s degree in management and has served in the Interior Ministry. She is a member of the Central Council for Islamic Republic’s Society for Women, as well as the Central Council of the Executives of Construction ( a pro-reform political party), and one of the experts at the Secretariat of the Commission on Macroeconomics in the Expediency Council.

“I hope the women’s faction [in Majlis] will be more effective than it was in the outgoing legislature,” she stressed.

Mafi ran on the platform of fighting violence against women. In an earlier interview with the same news agency she said her proposals would include “reviews and revisions to discriminatory rules against women.”

 Women-Friendly Policies

The next step would be to propose and pass laws concerning violence against women, verbal abuse in particular for which punitive measures and policies must clearly be laid down, she said.

Policymaking now will surely work for the benefit of women, Mafi deemed. More representatives for women, who comprise half the 80 million population, in various branches of the government means more power to pass laws that are in their best interest.

“The newly-elected women MPs come from various academic backgrounds that will enable them to serve on the different Majlis commissions,” she said, stressing that the focus must be bills addressing women’s issues that are pending or unresolved.

Mafi said a draft of proposals for the women’s faction in the Majlis is to be presented at a meeting on Saturday which will be attended by the newly-elected lawmakers.