President's daughter in running

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The Independent Online
Tehran (Reuter) - The daughter of President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran is running for parliament in Friday's election with a campaign backing a bigger role for women in politics, society and sport. Only nine of the 270 deputies elected to the Majlis in 1992 are women.

Faezeh Hashemi, a political scientist, said yesterday: "Because of the domination of male chauvinist culture on the one hand and on the other the fact that Islamic rules were not applied before the revolution, few women were attracted to social and political activity."

She is one of 187 women among 3,232 candidates approved by a Guardian Council which has checked them all for their Islamic faith and belief in Iran's Islamic state system.

Before the 1979 revolution,men and women mixed in social and sports activities. "That was incompatible with Islam and considered improper," said Ms Hashemi, a sportswoman and founder and head of the Islamic Countries' Women's Sports Solidarity Council, who organised the first games for Muslim women in Tehran in 1993.