Women’s Participation Can Enhance National Interest

Women’s Participation Can Enhance National Interest
Women’s Participation Can Enhance National Interest

Women spend a large part of their income on the education of their children compared to men, said Vahideh Negin, counselor for women and family affairs, at the ministry of labor and welfare. “Therefore, greater participation of women in the national economy can be a positive influence on nurturing a healthy society in which the future generations will have higher capabilities,” she said.

Social and economic participation of women will have a far greater impact on the long-term development of the cultural, social and economic aspects of the country, in addition to short-term benefits. “It is like a huge investment which will be profitable in the future,” Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) quoted her as saying.

Results of research are also consistent with this opinion. Researchers from the UK’s Loughborough University and the Policy Studies Institute found that men in a study conducted gave a higher priority to spending money on themselves than women; while women found it difficult to spend money on themselves and had a tendency to spend a greater proportion of their income on their children’s education.

Also women’s income earning potential has a direct impact on children’s health. Studies in a variety of low-income settings have shown that where women are income earners they are more likely than men to spend their earnings on goods and services that benefit the household, e.g., food, education and medicine. All these examples show that policies designed to boost women’s income earning potential have a direct impact on children’s health.

 Decision Makers

“Therefore women must not be perceived as inactive consumers, rather they must be seen as decision-makers in top positions,”says Shahindokht Molaverdi, vice president of Women and Family Affairs.

According to findings of the United Nations, the official said restricting women’s access to certain jobs could cause an economic loss of between $42 billion and $46 billion to nations.

Research conducted by the World Bank also showed women are better managers and parliamentarians who could handle social issues better than their male counterparts, said Molaverdi.

At present the number of women managers is increasing about 10 percent annually in Iran, she observed. She also said a bill to increase women managers is under consideration by the government.

Molaverdi called on all the three branches of government and NGOs to help empower female managers. In order to promote gender equality, the capability of managers, and not their gender, should be highly valued, she added.

President Hassan Rouhani has promised to employ more women in his administration.

At present the ministry of labor also has taken effective steps in the field of women empowerment through skills training, holding specialized workshops, and advanced programs for graduate women, and social skills training to vulnerable women to help them play an active social role.