Hassan Rouhani, Iran's elected president took office and selected his cabinet members.  Despite his campaign promises, no women were selected as members of cabinet. Why did he select all male...

Hassan Rouhani, Iran's elected president took office and selected his cabinet members.  Despite his campaign promises, no women were selected as members of cabinet. Why did he select all male cabinet members?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is, of course, impossible for someone outside Rouhani’s innermost circle to know why he has made this particular decision.  We can only speculate.  I would speculate that Rouhani has acted in this way because he believes that it is more politically feasible to do so.

Rouhani ran for president as something of a moderate.  There are many middle-class, relatively moderate Iranians who would like to see their country become somewhat more modernized.  They would like to see it be less of a theocracy.  Rouhani most likely made the promises that he did as a way of signaling to them that he was a moderate.  By doing so, he likely hoped to win their votes.

However, the President of Iran does not really have that much power in the country’s political system.  Instead, the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has a great deal of power.  Rouhani cannot simply do as he wishes.

Rouhani chose an all-male cabinet, but one that is rather moderate.  He is being criticized by many conservatives.  If he acts in ways that are too offensive to the conservatives, he will likely have a great deal of trouble with Khamenei.  I would speculate that he appointed only men so as not to antagonize the conservatives any further.  If he had appointed women, the conservatives might have had an easier time opposing him.

In short, I believe that Rouhani made promises to help him electorally but then bowed to political reality and broke those promises.

Sources:

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