Drive to Restore Majlis Women Commission

Drive to Restore Majlis Women Commission Drive to Restore Majlis Women Commission

A single-priority bill to reestablish the special commission on women and family has been drawn up and will be presented soon in the Majlis (parliament), said Soheila Jelodarzadeh.

 “The bill will be reviewed by the Majlis Internal Regulations Commission and likely be ratified and implemented by the end of the Iranian year in March 2017,” the woman lawmaker told the parliament’s official news agency ICANA.

The proposal to set up a special commission on women and family has repeatedly gone back and forth since the fourth parliament (1993-1997). It was originally rejected after its introduction in 1993, but was ratified for the first time in the fifth Majlis (1997-2001).

However, it had a short life and was abolished only to be merged with the cultural commission after three long years on the ground that there were too many overlapping parliamentary commissions.

Once again the proposal has been initiated by Parvaneh Mafi, MP, in the tenth Majlis that convened on May 28.

Jelodarzadeh said the legislature is trying to reestablish the commission in order to help address and remove existing challenges in areas pertaining to women; something that “could have been pursued more effectively had the commission not been shelved”.

One of the well-known and outspoken women lawmakers, Jelodarzadeh has won a seat in four parliamentary elections in 1996, 2000, 2006 and 2016. Now there are 17 women in 290-member chamber.

“There is no proper national authority on women and family affairs at the moment, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and other relevant bodies have not fulfilled their obligations in this regard,” the MP rued.

   No Overlap

Noting that a specialized body can introduce new prospects in areas relating to women, she said its functions “will not interfere or overlap with those of the ‘Women’s Faction’ in parliament, but will complement them.”

“Although proposing such bills could trigger discussions and pose new challenges, such debates will definitely be constructive and useful,” she stressed.

Women’s employment is a major issue, said MP Parvaneh Salahshoori.  “We must prioritize the economic empowerment of women,” she stressed.

Other matters including insurance for housewives and dual nationality children (mostly with Afghan fathers) who are deprived of identity documents must also be addressed by the Women’s Faction, she said.