Women Heads of Household and Efforts to Improve...
There are negative and positive points with regards to the provision of services to women heads of household in each country, and our country, Iran is not exempt to this. But a lot of effort has been made to get closer to international standards, conventions and declarations in this regard.
The empowerment of women is one of the root methods that the government has been doing. Festivals (Women and National Production) have been held since 2012 with the efforts of the Tehran Municipality Office of the Empowerment of Women Heads of Household. The aim of the holding of these festivals is the presentation of produced products in the Tehran Skills Centers which have been launched with a good standard. They up-to-date the capacities and needs so that they have corrective planning and always move towards the empowerment of families.
The holding of education workshops are held towards the cultural and social development of children with the subject of the family, sports and their introduction to social damages for women heads of household in various provinces and cities under the supervision of relevant bodies such as the Aid Committee.
The Social Provision Insurance of women heads of household is another subject that the government has a special interest in. This is done through the coverage of individuals that have been reviewed by the Aid Committee and Social Provisions in the provinces and cities and been implemented, which help for the retirement of women. For example the coverage of more than 1250 women in Sabzevar can be pointed out.
But alongside communities' efforts for the provision of suitable conditions for women, demands also exist which our country benefits from. For example 28 percent of women heads of household are completely illiterate, 20 percent have basic education, 17 percent secondary school education, 34 percent high school diploma and one percent university degrees or higher.
Another problem is the lowering of their ages and increasing numbers which must seriously be investigated. The age range of women heads of household has dropped and the number of impoverished women who seek support services from relevant institutions is on the increase. Eight-one percent of women heads of household due to husbands death, 14 percent due to divorce, and 5 percent due to various reasons have become heads of household. According to statistics 1,490,000 women heads of household are covered by the Imam Aid Committee.
But despite all the shortfalls the government is trying to bring the country closer to international standards and in conformity with international declarations and conventions, to provide the conditions for the women of the country.
In article 3 of the two International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, members states are committed to provide these rights equally for all men and women. Not only this article stresses on the equal rights of men and women in support of human rights, but it also calls upon governments to deem this principle as a fact.
In view of the international covenants and standards, our country too is trying to improve the conditions for women who are the infrastructure of society. The Women and Family Affairs Deputy which is responsible for dealing with this in our country by pursuing this subject, has managed to achieve notable accomplishments, some of which are as follows:
1 - Presentation of recommendation for the setting up f a social support working group for women heads of household and needy, to ministries and relevant centers and organizations, a number of meetings that have been held. Representatives from the UNFPA which is a nongovernmental organization and active in the support and empowerment of these individuals were present in these meetings.
2 - The holding of "Women Key Players in Economy and Culture" conference.
3 - The conference for the introduction of the comprehensive plan for the empowerment of women heads of household (Shahr-e-Rey pilot) has been held under the title of Lady of Plan, Ambassador of Hope.
4 - Economic organization and capacity building of women in special economic duty free zones, that include expansion of self-employed mini markets and centres for the presentation of women's manufactured goods have been reviewed.
5 - Putting value to the domestic work of women and putting them in national accounts.
Although the country has a long way to go in the area of the development of women and specifically in supporting women heads of household, and is faced with numerous challenges, but efforts have been made in this regard which brings hope to all those who work towards development of the country.