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Rouhani appoints 2 women Vice Presidents after criticism


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Tehran, Aug 9 (IANS) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appointed two women Vice Presidents on Wednesday, a day after coming under fire for not nominating any women ministers in his Cabinet.

Masumeh Ebtekar was named the Vice President for family and women’s affairs while Laya Joneydi was appointed the vice President for legal affairs, BBC reported.

Another woman, Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, was named the President’s assistant for civil rights.

Rouhani, who had three female Vice Presidents during his earlier term, still has several more deputy positions to fill, said the report.

Mowlaverdi had said the all-male Cabinet showed that Iran was "treading water". Both Mowlaverdi and Ebtekar were Vice Presidents in Rouhani’s previous government.

Lawmakers were not expected to challenge the chosen Cabinet as key roles were filled with the approval of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the report said.

Rouhani beat hardliner Ebrahim Raisi to the presidency in May after vowing to improve Iran’s civil liberties and rebuild ties with the West.

At a conference in February titled "Women, Moderation and Development", he called for a greater female presence in politics and culture.

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