Iranian women lose confidence in Rouhani, reformists as elections near

On the heels of Iran’s parliamentary elections, Iranian women are losing hope in the reformist party and current Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, according to a report by Reuters.

Rouhani won the Iranian presidential election in 2013 as a “moderate reformist” who ran on a platform to fix economic and social problems. His supporters had hoped his victory would lead to social change in Iran, but the dial on social freedoms has barely budged in Iran since his election according to rights campaigners, who contest that Rouhani’s presidency has made little progress in regards to political and cultural freedoms.

While Iranian women are among the most educated women in the Middle East, they are poorly represented and poorly protected by the Iranian government. Their legal witness testimony still only counts half as much as a man’s testimony in Iranian courts. Daughters in Iran inherit half as much as sons do. Women have a much harder time divorcing their spouse than men do, and men automatically receive custody of any children in a divorced relationship if the children are older than seven years old.

The lack of movement on these campaign issues have left Iranian women – specifically young Iranian women – feeling helpless. “What will change if I vote?” said a woman who could not win custody of her eight-year-old son after getting divorced in Isfahan. “Can reformist candidates give me equal rights?”

Read the full story on Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-election-women-youth-insight-idUSKCN0VD2FS

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