Concluding Observation Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 8
Full recommendation:
The State party should take steps to increase the number of women in decision- making and
judicial bodies at all levels and in all areas. It should also organize special training programs
for women and regular awareness campaigns in this regard.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Islamic Republic of Iran should take steps to increase the number of women in
decision-making and judicial bodies at all levels and in all areas
Article 20 of the Constitution states that “All citizens of the country, both men and women,
equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and
cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria”. The opportunity for interpretation allowed
under the qualifications such as “in conformity with Islamic criteria” has often resulted in
provisions that discriminate or have a discriminatory impact on various grounds, including
gender.
Women in Iran have a limited presence in decision-making bodies. Women are completely
prohibited from holding the position of Supreme Leader. Candidates for the presidency in Iran
must be what the constitution refers to as Rajol-E- Siasi (“political men”).2 Though many argue
that the phrase as a whole could be understood as “political persons,” without a specification as
to gender, the Guardian Council of the Constitution, a body of Islamic jurists responsible for
vetting candidates for elections, has never approved a woman to stand in presidential elections or
elections to the Assembly of Experts. Additionally, no woman has ever served on the Guardian
Council (body mandated to bring parliamentary resolutions in line with Shari’a and the
Constitution and to oversee elections and vet candidates), nor on the Expediency Council (body
which serves as the Supreme Leader's advisory arm, formulating "general policies for the state"
and overseeing the implementation of those policies on the behalf of the Supreme Leader).
There are no legal limits laws on the ability of women to vote or become a candidate for
parliament or the City and Village Councils; however, the Guardian Council is known to
arbitrarily disqualify women candidates from running for election. For example, in the run-up to
the 2020 elections, the Guardian Council disqualified 60 percent of female candidates.

1
2

CCPR.3.S.1 ; CCPR.26.S.1; CCPR.3.P.1; CCPR.26.P.1; CCPR.3..O.1
Art 115, Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

1

Select target paragraph3