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It is a significant step which local experts believe that can inspire Baluchi women to work for more rights and break boundaries that have been created by both the state and society.

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.


Balochzehi is a widow, her sister is on the city council and she comes from a wealthy and influential family.

The province of Sistan-Baluchistan is situated in southeastern Iran and at 187,502 square kilometers [72,395 square miles, roughly the size of Washington state] is Iran’s largest province. From the north of the province to the city of Zabol (famous ancient city) is the region of Sistan, whose population is mostly Persian-speaking and Shiite.

This province has historically suffered from political repression, economic deprivation, and has witnessed violence through terrorism from extremist Sunni groups and drug smuggling.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/sunni-woman-first-iran-mayor.html##ixzz2n0VMdffQ

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