Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who has stirred controversy with his plan to segregate male and female public servants, declared on Tuesday that he is in essence against gender segregation.
The Fars News Agency reports that Qalibaf was speaking at a meeting in Mashhad when he said: “Some have said that after the election, Ghalibaf has promoted the idea of gender segregation, while I am totally against this idea.”
Ghalibaf was a candidate in the last presidential election in August 2013. He added: “Some have also exaggerated, claiming I have said we cannot have female secretaries, but I say we must keep the dignity of women… I am against merely using women in the secretary position.”
In May, Tehran Municipality announced that it will try “wherever possible” to separate the workplaces of men and women, and senior executives were directed to use only men as office managers, secretaries, telephone operators and typists.
The announcement triggered widespread outrage, and the Rohani administration especially expressed opposition to it.
The episode is widely regarded as a backlash to the Rohani administration’s progressive policies and its motto of “moderation.”