$33m to Help Boost Rural Women’s Employment

$33m to Help Boost Rural Women’s Employment$33m to Help Boost Rural Women’s Employment

Women in most countries account for a bigger part of the service sector – the more difficult sector – of the economy; they are however hired on low salaries and denied their full rights, statistics and studies show.

Iranian women have always played a significant role in social and economic development of the nation, including during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war. Therefore, it is only fair that this “active and vulnerable class” should be supported by the respective organizations “to stand on their own feet,” ISNA reports.

Fortunately, according to Minister of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare Ali Rabeie one trillion rials ($33 million) were allocated to carpet and handicraft industries this year (ends March 20) to develop job opportunities for women in villages and remote regions.

The Technical and Vocational Training Organization is planning to provide education for women in remote regions under the supervision of the ministry, he said.

The issue of empowering woman has been addressed in the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, starting 2016. One article concerns establishment of cooperatives by women in small towns and villages and is supported by resources from the Tose’e Ta’avon Bank (specialized in development goals of the cooperative sector).

Counseling centers for women are to be set up in industrial environments and counseling hotlines are currently operating to further support women’s participation in the economy. Meanwhile, the ministry of youth affairs and sports is taking action to help reduce effects of “psychological and emotional damage of divorce among women.”


 Female-Headed Households

Pointing to the government’s financial support to women entrepreneurs in the upcoming year, the advisor to the ministry of interior in family and women affairs, Fahimeh Farahmandpour, announced the allocation of 100 billion rials ($2.92 million) for disbursement as loans at low interest rate to each female producer, based on an agreement with the Imam Reza Fund.

Visiting an exhibition titled ‘Economic Capabilities of Women’ in the central province of Alborz, she said more than 6 exhibitions comprising 1000 booths were held across the country during the Fajr festival (February 1-10) to display cultural and economic achievements of 1000 female producers.

Although female producers usually face several problems in the production and marketing process, she said “their economic activities can help boost domestic production as well as improve livelihoods of households.” Therefore, the government will take measures to facilitate women’s economic activities. As an example, she pointed to the establishment of three permanent marketplaces in the country to ease the sale process for women producers and hoped for an increase in the number of permanent marketplaces.