Of the 686 candidates in Iran who registered to run for president, 30 were women. But according to Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and human rights activist, Iranian women cannot technically become president of the country because the law states that the president should be from political rejal, a word that has a dual definition. It means “politically qualified,” but it is also the plural of the word “man.” This hasn’t stopped women from registering, however. Ebadi says the feminist movement in Iran uses the country’s interpretation of the law as a form of protest. And Ebadi doesn’t have much hope yet for Iran’s new president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, whom she says hasn’t made any specific promises for women’s rights.
Iranian women go against the men-only law.