Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi

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Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi
Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi 2016.jpg
Minister of Health and Medical Education
In office
9 August 2009 31 March 2013
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Preceded by Kamran Bagheri Lankarani
Succeeded by Hassan Tarighat Monfared
Member of the Parliament of Iran
In office
28 May 1992 28 May 2000
Constituency Tehran, Rey, Shemiranat and Eslamshahr
Majority588,036 (41.1%) [1]
Personal details
Born (1959-02-11) 11 February 1959 (age 59)
Tehran, Iran
Political party Islamic Association of Physicians of Iran
Zeynab Society
Other political
Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces
Spouse(s)Omid Nokhostin [2]
Parents Seifollah Vahid-Dastjerdi (father)
Relatives Mohammad Esfahani (cousin) [3]
Alma mater University of Tehran
Signature Signature of Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi.svg

Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi (Persian : مرضیه وحید دستجردی, born 11 February 1959) is an Iranian university professor and former parliamentarian, who was Iran's minister of health and medical education. [4] She was part of the President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's inner circle. [5]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.


Vahid-Dastjerdi was the first female government minister in Iran since the 1979 Revolution. She is the third female government minister in Iranian history, after Farrokhroo Parsa and Mahnaz Afkhami. [6]

Farrokhroo Parsa Iranian politician

Farrokhroo Parsa was an Iranian physician, educator and parliamentarian.

Mahnaz Afkhami Human rights and gender equality activist

Mahnaz Afkhami is an Iranian women's rights activist who served in the Cabinet of Iran from 1976 to 1978.

Early life and education

Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi was born in Tehran on 11 February 1959. She is the daughter of Seifollah Vahid Dastjerdi, who was head of the Red Crescent Society of Iran. [7]

Seifollah Vahid Dastjerdi (1926–1999) was head of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

She entered Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 1976 to study medicine, and qualified in nursing and obstetrics, obtaining a doctoral degree in 1988. [7] [8]

Tehran University of Medical Sciences

Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) is the largest, "most distinguished", and most highly-ranked medical university of Iran. In September 2008, Iran's Minister of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education, Dr. Lankarani, called TUMS a pioneer in research throughout the country with a noticeable lead over its peer universities.

Obstetrics is the field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. As a medical specialty, obstetrics is combined with gynecology under the discipline known as obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) which is a surgical field.

Medical career

Vahid-Dastjerdi was a faculty member at Tehran University for 13 years, and director of the Nursing and Obstetrics Department for six years. She was a founder member of Iran's Specialized Scientific Association of Reproduction and Sterility, and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (1993–2000). [7] From 2004 to 2009 she headed Arash Hospital. [8]

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. It provides a forum for lay public, researchers, physicians and affiliated health workers through education, publications, and meetings. The Society has its headquarters in Birmingham, AL and a public affairs office in Washington, DC.

Ruin Tan Aresh Hospital, Tehran is a General Women's Hospital located in Tehranpars, an eastern suburb of Tehran in Iran.

Vahid-Dastjerdi worked on the organizing committees for prominent conferences on subjects related to medicine. Examples include a Workshop on “Higher Education & Development in Knowledge Based Society: Towards Enhancing Quality and Relevance in Medical and Professional Education” [9] and the 2nd International Congress of Medical Ethics in Iran which took place in Tehran during April 2008. [10]

She is a member of the editorial board of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences's Journal of Family and Reproductive Health. [11]

Political career

Vahid-Dastjerdi in 1993 jointly founded the Islamic Association of Physicians, a political party. [12] She was elected to the Fourth Majlis (1992–1996) representing Tehran, and re-elected in 1996. [13] [14] She was elected chairwoman of the Majlis Committee on Women, Family and Youth in August 1997. [15]

While in the Majlis, Vahid-Dastjerdi supported legal changes making it harder for women to obtain a divorce, keep custody of their children after divorce, or have an abortion. She is described by one critic as supporting the role of women as "pious mothers devoted to Islam, to their duties to their husbands, and to the Islamic Republic." She opposed a bill that might have led Iran to join the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. [16]

In April 1998, Vahid-Dastjerdi helped draft a proposal for sexual segregation in hospitals and medical institutions to comply with Sharia. This plan envisaged female hospitals for women staffed exclusively by women, on a model sharing some features of London's Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, which led to the founding of the London School of Medicine for Women. The plan was eventually rejected on grounds of cost, after heavy criticism from doctors and health professionals. [13] A similar plan to separate Iranian hospitals by gender, based on Vahid-Dastjerdi's original proposal, was enacted in 2006. [17] The president of the Council of Iranian Medical Specialists described the plan as "not even realistic” because of the "shortage of female specialists in many cities".

In May 1999, she addressed a rally in Tehran to protest the ban on wearing the headscarf in the Turkish parliament. She condemned the ban as an affront to Muslims and a crime against human rights. [18]

On 3 September 2009, the Majlis confirmed Vahid-Dastjerdi as Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education. She received 175 favoring, 82 opposing, and 29 abstaining votes, and is the first female minister in the history of the Islamic Republican government. On the same day, two other female candidates for ministries (Sousan Keshavarz and Fatemeh Ajorlou) were voted down. [19]

Vahid-Dastjerdi is considered politically conservative, but supports a role for women in society. She told parliamentarians "Women must have a greater role in the country's affairs." After her confirmation, she said "I think today women reached their long-standing dream of having a woman in the cabinet to pursue their demands. This is an important step for women and I hold my head high." [20] On 27 December 2012, she was removed from her position as health minister. [21] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed her deputy, Mohammad-Hassan Tarighat Monfared, as caretaker of the ministry until a new minister is approved by the parliament. [22]


She has written and translated many books in the field of women's health. [7] The following is probably not a complete list. [23] [24]

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  1. Profile
  2. زندگی خصوصی وعمومی نخستین خانم وزیر
  3. خانه / آخرین اخبار / محمد اصفهانی و مرضیه وحید دستجردی عزادار شدند محمد اصفهانی و مرضیه وحید دستجردی عزادار شدند
  4. ماجرای برکناری اولین وزیر زن (in Persian)
  5. Abdo, Geneive (29 July 2010). "Iran's Bubble Boys". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  6. The first woman minister in the Islamic Republic BBC, (in Persian), 3 September 2009
  7. 1 2 3 4 Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi joins government as Minister of Health Mehr News, (Persian)
  8. 1 2 1st female minister in the history of Islamic Republic of Iran Payvand
  9. "Committees". Higher Education. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  10. "2nd International Congress of Medical Ethics in Iran". ICME. 16–18 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  11. "About this journal". TUMS. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  12. "List of Legally Registered parties in Iran". Pars Times. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  13. 1 2 Appendix: Chronology of Events Regarding Women in Iran since the Revolution of 1979
  14. Islamic Republic of Iran Parliament (Majlis) Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine .
  15. Representative Office of The National Council of Resistance of Iran Brief on Iran No. 735
  16. Hardline women won't help Iran The Guardian, 17 August 2009
  17. A Minister in Support of Gender Separation Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine .
  18. Turkey's secular fundamentalists target woman over hijab Archived 14 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine .
  19. "فارسی - ايران - مجلس به سه وزیر پیشنهادی احمدی نژاد رای اعتماد نداد". BBC. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  20. Dream win for female minister Gulf Daily
  21. "Iran sacks sole female minister Dastjerdi from health post". BBC. 27 December 2012.
  22. Yeganeh Salehi; Ladane Nasseri (27 December 2012). "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fires first female cabinet minister". The Star. Tehran. Reuters. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  23. Caesarean section rates in teaching hospitals of Tehran: 1999–2003
  24. Paper [ permanent dead link ]
Political offices
Preceded by
Kamran Bagheri Lankarani
Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Hassan Hashemi
Civic offices
Preceded by
Rozita Shamsaee
Head of Arash Hospital
Succeeded by
Nasim Vahidi