The appointment of women to several important political or economic posts is among the measures taken by Rouhani’s government. In line with this policy, Marzieh Afkham was appointed as the first Foreign Ministry spokeswoman (September 2013-November 2015). She was later appointed as the first Iranian female ambassador after taking up such a post in Malaysia in December 2015. Three women have been appointed as governors while another woman was appointed as deputy oil minister. Also, Farzaneh Sharafbafi was hired as the CEO of flag carrier Iran Air back in July.
But efforts to increase women’s involvement in society, and especially the economy, have not been limited to these measures. Every year, an exam is held nationwide to recruit government employees. Rouhani ordered the postponement of the 2016 exam and urged a review of it after Molaverdi noted that the quotas discriminated against women.
With the beginning of Rouhani’s second term, there is heated debate about which policies his administration will adopt over the next four years. While the president failed to appoint any female ministers, enraging a wide array of political factions and figures, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on July 18 said that the government — “given the importance of paving ground for women’s presence in managerial posts of the state sector” — plans to allocate 30% of such posts to them.