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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani faces flak for male-only cabinet

Reformists in Iran were quick to protest against the new cabinet appointed today after it was noticed that it comprised only of male members. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attracted strong criticism from various reformist individuals and groups in Iran. Another thing that was criticized about the new cabinet was that it lacked representation from minority groups. The average age of cabinet members has also gone up, as compared to that of Rouhani’s first term. The increase in average age indicates that the representation by young people has decreased in the new cabinet. Speaking about the lack of women in the new cabinet, Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, Rouhani’s outgoing vice president for women’s affairs said, “The lack of women ministers shows we are treading water.”

The social media in Iran was also buzzing with talks about the new cabinet. Many users said that Rouhani had promised a slew of reform measures at the time of elections to get votes, but it now appears that he may be failing to keep those promises. Mohammad Karroubi, son of jailed opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi posted a tweet that read, “The people’s message in the last two elections has had little reflection in the proposed cabinet.” “How can you speak of equality of the entire nation and ignore women and religious minorities?” he added. Representation of Sunnis, who make up around 10 percent of the population of Iran, is also missing in the new cabinet.

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