Sunday, April 19, 2009
"Women can stand for the presidential race and the Council of Guardians will not exclude them on the basis of gender nor will they interpret the term : Rejal." This statement was proclaimed by the Spokesperson of the Council of Guardians on Saturday last week. The term rejal (meaning personality) was inserted in a phrase concerning presidential elections, by the legislators of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, to replace the condition of masculinity for presidential candidates.
A few hours after this announcement a rumour was floating among news and internet sites announcing the imminent candidacy of Massoumeh Ebtekar as a presidential hopeful. I was informed of new of my imminent candidacy during a meeting in the Tehran City Council ! This had happened several times before as well and I had denied the rumours each time. This time however circumstances had changed and I decided to take a serious look at the issue and the conditions surrounding my possible candidacy. The approval of the Council of Guardians of a woman for the first time would pave way for the presence of women at higher levels of decision making.It could also create much hope and motivation for young women, girls and youth in general since it would be a symbol of change and progress. It could initiate a movement to remove glass ceilings and backward interpretations concerning women and youth. I believe, however that women have much to say in the management of affairs; in the economic, social, and political dimensions. "I will decide about my candidacy shortly", I have responded in the many different interviews I had to perform this week. In all cases I stressed that I did not plan to break the unity of the Reformists since I believe that "constructive change" is the most essential requirement of these times.
Posted by Massoumeh Ebtekar at 11:08 PM