President Hassan Rowhani advocated gender equality in Iranian politics in a speech at a women's conference in Tehran on Sunday.
"How can a country talk of development and progress, while ignoring the 50 per cent of women in the population," Rowhani said.
He stressed the need for female representation in politics and argued that women had not yet achieved the status that they deserve.
"We need to work on this," he said.
In his speech, Rowhani sought to tackle cliches in the Islamic world that claim "women must stay at home and men must work." Bringing up children is as much a man's job as it is a woman's, he said, while the world of work should be open to both genders.
"We [in Iran] may not represent feminist views," he conceded, but added that the Islamic republic is not stuck in "the stone age."
Women and men have equal rights in Iran. However, despite reforms introduced by Rowhani's government, women still suffer from various forms of discrimination.