In his own quixotic celebration of International Women’s Day, a conservative lawmaker was recorded telling his supporters that ladies, like animals, don’t belong in government. Iranian women just won a record 14 seats in the country’s parliament, which is, evidently, just like monkeys running things.
Nader Qazipour, speaking in his native Turkish, was filmed at a rally telling his supporters that Parliament is a place where “only men belong.” What follows is a translation from Memri TV, a think tank that translates articles from Middle Eastern countries into English. Memri was founded by Israeli political scientists and its critics say it operates essentially as a propaganda arm for the Israeli government; this translation, however, seems to be uncontested:
Nader Qazipour: It was not easy for us to build this country, so we will not give it away easily to any little boy or fox. The Iranian parliament is no place for children or donkeys. The Iranian parliament is no place for women. It is a place where only men belong. If you send women to parliament members, they will face catastrophes and your honor will be violated.
The Los Angeles Times reports that elsewhere in his remarks, Qazipour also said “Parliament is not the place for donkeys and foals, monkeys and women.” And the Times reports that Qasipour’s remarks have sparked outrage and calls for him to resign; he’s responded, essentially, by saying he just got over-exuberant and accidentally called for women to be disenfranchised, as you do:
He has since released a halfhearted apology, as furor over what reformists are calling “Nader-gate” grew. “I was carried away by the jubilation of the election among my supporters, and said something in error,” he said. “I express my regret, and do hope the misunderstanding will be alleviated.”
A record 14 women were elected to the Iranian Parliament recently, up from nine, and at least seven more are advancing to runoff elections in April, Al Jazeera reports. But at least 800 women were disqualified from running by the powerful Guardian Council, a state-backed panel of experts in Islamic law. Every woman running for a seat on the Assembly of Experts —the body of theologians who are able to elect and unseat the country’s Supreme Leader— was also disqualified.
Iranian women display the IDs they’ll use to vote in the city of Qom, Iran, February 26, 2016. Photo via AP Images