Majlis Bill Redefines Rehab and Social Support

Majlis Bill Redefines  Rehab and Social SupportMajlis Bill Redefines  Rehab and Social Support

A single-urgency bill was placed before the Majlis (parliament) last week proposing clear demarcation of the duties of rehabilitation and social support organizations, to facilitate better outreach to susceptible social groups.

Based on the proposed bill signed by 61 MPs, social support services are to be assigned to the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee (IKRC), and rehabilitation assistance will be tasked to the Social Welfare Organization (SWO), reports ICANA.

“If the functions of the two groups are clearly defined and distinguished and the tasks of the two organizations are demarcated, things will run smoothly,” said lawmaker Fatemeh Rahbar.

A proponent of the bill, IKRC head Parviz Fattah said: “Although charities are not considered a rival to the relief committees, monitoring of their activities is vital.”

Social support services encompass pension, basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, medical care, training and employment, assistance in marriage, education, and interest-free loans; rehabilitation, on the other hand, includes services that help an individual regain physical, mental, psychological, and social wellbeing, increase social productivity, and reduce social harms.

People usually make the mistake of assuming that the services of the SWO and the IKRC “are one and the same.” The bill is an effort to differentiate the two services and facilitate faster and convenient interventions.

“The IKRC is dealing with cultural poverty and an exhaustive view of poverty as well as prioritizing the needs of the unfortunate is on top of its agenda,” Fattah noted.

The bill redefines and segregates the duties of the two noted social organizations so that quality services can be offered to the beneficiaries. It also states that “elderly people or households whose breadwinners cannot afford to be providers, due to divorce, death, disease, imprisonment, depletion, or conscription, are to receive support from the IKRC, unless they are covered by state insurance.

“The charity boxes of the institution will not be relinquished to the private sector and the donations will be used to meet the needs of the target groups,” he said.

 Women in Poverty

Fattah also warned that the increase in the number of female breadwinners together with the feminization of poverty “would create a precarious social state.”

“Women comprise one million of the 1.7 million households covered by the IKRC, and a strategy to address feminization of poverty is imperative,” he emphasized, at a meeting of the Majlis (parliament) Agriculture Committee, Fararu reports.

Feminization of poverty describes a situation in which women represent disproportionate percentages of the world’s poor. The United Nations Development Fund for Women describes it as “the burden of poverty borne by women, especially in developing countries”.

Women living in poverty are often denied access to vital resources such as credit, land and inheritance. Their labor goes unrecognized and underappreciated. They lack sufficient access to education and support services and their participation in decision-making in the community is minimal. Caught in a vicious circle, they are bereft of resources and facilities to change their situation.

Fattah called for compulsory social security insurance, to help tide over unforeseen circumstances if a breadwinner is killed or maimed. “So far, more than 380,000 households have received social security insurance from the IKRC, and we are set on extending the coverage to more target families.”