Iranian President sacks only woman cabinet minister

The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today dismissed his only female cabinet member, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticised her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.

Appointed in 2009, Ms Dastjerdi was the first woman minister since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979. While seen as politically conservative, the gynaecologist has advocated a greater role for women in society. Last month, Dastjerdi said only a quarter of the $2.4bn earmarked for medicines had been provided.