A male Member of Parliament (MP) in Iran is fighting a lawsuit following the outrageous declaration that women, like other animals, do not belong in the legislature.
“Parliament is not a place for foxes, donkeys and women,” declared Nader Ghazipour to a crowd.
He also said males in Parliament “might do things to them and disgrace you.”
The recent elections pushed “a record number of women” into the next Parliament. Now 20 women will hold seats in the 290-seat legislature. Iran set the previous record of 14 “during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution.” Only nine women held seats in the present Parliament.
These women, with some male colleagues, filed complaints against Ghazipour.
“There has been an accusation against women, and Mr Ghazipour must be held responsible,” exclaimed Fatemeh Rahbar, a leading female deputy.
Ghazipour has apologized: “I was carried away by the jubilation of the election among my supporters, and said something in error,” he explained. “I express my regret, and do hope the misunderstanding will be alleviated.”
He added, “I didn’t mean all women. There were two ladies running from our city in this election. You can ask them my opinion of women. If elections were held again right now, I would win twice as many votes.”
Ghazipour won his election last month “in Orumiyeh, a Turkish-speaking province.”
“He represents the fanatical, traditionalist men in our society, and should have been disqualified long ago by the Guardian Council,” said female activist Farzane.
An outgoing female member described Ghazipour’s words as “obscene.” She also said Iran must tackle “the lack of female representation.”
“I should say, when 600 female candidates were disqualified to run in the recent parliamentary election, that was a more important tragedy to be addressed,” said Sakine Omrani.
Eight of the newly elected women belonged “on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as ‘the list of hope.'”
Sociologist and university professor Parvaneh Salahshori, 51, won a seat in Parliament last month. As officials counted votes, an interview showed her “speaking out about discrimination against women in Iran.” She also said women should choose to wear or not wear the hijab.
“It means that we want change, it means that we want to empower our women, we want to empower our young people and we want to grow our economy,” she told the media after a reporter asked her what it meant to belong to the reformists.
She also criticized the nine women in the current Parliament.
“They think completely differently from us [reformists],” she stated. “They are against women, I think some women are against women and these women are not women, only their gender is female, but their language is pro-men.”