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Female votes could be key in Iran’s presidential polls

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


As in previous polls, all of the female candidates are likely to be eliminated at this stage. However, women voters are an important constituency of support for incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, as he prepares to fend off conservative challengers. Female backing has been critical in past victories of reformist and moderate candidates, including Mohammed Khatami in 1997 and 2001.


  • In the days before the election, Rouhani may promise new economic and social reforms designed to appeal to women.
  • In the longer term, Iran’s economic success will depend on improving the low female workforce participation rate.
  • Local council elections, also on May 19, will be significantly shaped by women’s preferences.

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