Baluchi Sunni woman elected as mayor in Iran

A Baluchi woman was elected as the mayor of Kalat by the city council.

Baluchi Sunni woman elected as mayor in Iran

World Bulletin / News Desk

The election of the first Baluchi woman last week as the mayor of Kalat, a city in the south of Iran, was an unprecedented event in one of the most underprivileged and conservative provinces in Iran.

Samiyeh Balochzehi, 26, who was elected mayor by the Kalat city council, is an engineer and has a master’s degree in natural resources management from the Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch in Tehran.

A local who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said that Balochzehi is a widow, that her sister is on the city council and that she comes from a wealthy and influential family.

The five-member city council voted unanimously for Balochzehi. The significance of the election was not lost on the president of Kalat’s city council, who, according to a local website, Baluch Press, said, “The election of a Baluchi woman can encourage local women. This could be an opportunity for all those who are, in spite of their qualifications, isolated from the society.”

Electing a female mayor is by itself a very rare event in Iran. Female mayors who are Shiite and come from the majority Persian ethnicity are extremely rare, but electing a female mayor from two distinct minority sets in Iran, the Baluchi and the Sunnis, is unprecedented.

The province of Sistan-Baluchistan is situated in southeastern Iran.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2013, 17:44