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Global Imbalances in Women’s  Empowerment Should be Set Right
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Global Imbalances in Women’s Empowerment Should be Set Right

Iran’s Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi said despite certain achievements to elevate women’s status globally, “the slow and imbalanced trend in materializing women’s rights is disturbing.”
Addressing the 59th Session of the UN Commission on Status of Women in New York on Sunday, she said “throughout its 36 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran had the empowerment of women and improving their status in scientific, cultural, social, economic and political arenas on its agenda while observing their human dignity.” A copy of her speech was released by Iran’s diplomatic mission in New York to IRNA.
The Iranian Constitution guarantees women’s material and spiritual rights and provides a normative framework through which women can be actively present in various areas.
Beyond achievements already at hand, in the executive branch, “we can point to the resolute actions by the current government towards realizing gender balance” in various aspects of life, and more importantly striking a balance among multiple roles of women in order to eventually bring about the advancement of women’s status, gender justice, and strengthening the institution of family.
In this regard, the National Authority for Women’s Affairs was upgraded from a center to the level of vice-presidency. Efforts are also being made to strike a balance between capabilities and opportunities, as far as the mission of this vice-presidency is concerned.
Iran’s 20-Year Vision plan, as a multi-disciplinary document, has set out provisions on the ways and means of enhancing social justice, legitimate freedoms, protection of human dignity and rights, social and judicial security, health, welfare, food security, social security, equal opportunities, appropriate distribution of income, acceptable sound environment and strengthening the institution of family, with no poverty, corruption and discrimination, she pointed out.

 Significant Progress
Despite the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war and the sanctions against the nation, Iranian women have made significant progress in the fields of education and research, science, entrepreneurship, economy and health, and continue to play their influential role in the society.
Nonetheless, the government is not negligent to the relatively low rate of women’s participation in political and decision-making positions and in the labor market. It is making all effort to resolve the issues and expedite women’s empowerment.
She emphasized that the international community should pay special attention to take “a collective stand to avoid politicization of legal and developmental issues” and to lift the unjust sanctions on Iran.
Given the direct relation between security and development, and bearing in mind that women and children have always been the main victims of wars and conflicts, it is important that the international community addresses the issues, and above all, any form of violence and extremism under any pretext, and include them in the post-2015 development agenda. The Iranian government, as the initiator of the resolution on ‘a World against Violence and Extremism, (WAVE),’ has already demonstrated its willingness to help realize this objective. It seems that an exit from the current situation demands  “womanly wisdom in global management for the world to become more secure, fair, and peaceful.”
Molaverdi also said complete fulfillment of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action requires identifying the root causes of the obstacles in the way of its realization and adopting new strategies and a comprehensive approach which does not overlook specific cultural, religious and historical characteristics of societies.
It is necessary to include a gender approach in all development goals, in parallel with a specific goal focusing on gender justice. In this regard, increasing the responsibility of men along with boosting the regional and international cooperation is also necessary, she concluded.

 

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