Chadors in the Cabinet can’t cloak Iran’s misogyny
Boston Globe / Jeff Jacoby

MAHMOUD Ahmadinejad announced on Sunday that for the first time since the 1979 revolution, women will be named to the Iranian Cabinet, a development the news media promptly described as a bid “to soften his hardline image’’ and to “mollify the opposition . . . while currying favor with women.’’ Some people will believe anything, so presumably somebody somewhere is taking at face value Ahmadinejad’s claim that from now on things are going to be different in Iran. “We have entered a new era,’’ he said on state television. “Conditions changed completely and the government will see major changes.’’ It would be pretty to think so. But meaningful change to Iran’s theocratic government will not be coming from Ahmadinejad or the cutthroat mullahs he answers to. His first female Cabinet choices - Fatemeh Ajorloo for the social welfare ministry and Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi for the health ministry - are as hardcore as the men already in power in Tehran.

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