After 3 Decades, Iran Names Female Cabinet Minister

Health appointee heralds achievement of 'long-standing dream'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2009 1:05 PM CDT
Female nominees including Marzieh Vahid Dastgerdi as health minister, center, stand in a press briefing at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Iran has named its first female cabinet minister since the dawn of the Islamic Republic in 1979, the Guardian reports. “I think today women reached their long-standing dream of having a woman in the cabinet to pursue their demands,” said new health minister Marzieh Vahid Dastgerdi. “This is an important step for women and I hold my head high.”

Some members of parliament fought her confirmation and barred two other women from cabinet posts. “Although it is a new idea to choose women as ministers, there are religious doubts over the abilities of women when it comes to management,” said one MP, who noted that he would ask Iran’s supreme leader if appointing a female was acceptable under the Islamic Republic’s rules.