SSO Ready to Help as Women Say No to Kids

SSO Ready to Help as Women Say No to KidsSSO Ready to Help as Women Say No to Kids

Nowadays many couples go to counseling centers with the complaint that one of them is not willing to have a child.  

In the past, mostly men made the choice to not have kids, but at present the number of women who don’t want to have kids is also increasing, Dr. Razgar Ghaderpour, marriage and family counselor, told the Persian language ‘Salamat’ weekly.

Postponement of childbearing has become a growing phenomenon in the country. One of the main reasons could be “lack of job security and uncertainty of the future,” he said.

Also, lack of laws to protect working mothers is seen as another factor discouraging women from having children.

Currently, 34% of educated Iranian women are employed and their contribution to family income is essential.

Increasing maternity leave from six to nine months and free insurance for the third child are measures proposed by the government with the aim of boosting population growth. It is not clear yet whether the plans “are a challenge or an opportunity.”

Studies have shown that in Iran, one-third of women are fired from their jobs after returning from six-month maternity leave. “By increasing maternity leave to nine months, we can expect that half the mothers will get the pink slip,” he said.


The problem has become so serious that Mohammad Hassan Zada, technical deputy for insurance at the Social Security Organization (SSO) said, “We are financially prepared to increase the period of maternity leave to nine months as the government has planned to allocate $91.8 million for execution of the plan. However, our only concern is women’s job security which may be put at risk with its implementation.”

Zada said to prevent women employees’ dismissal after they return to work from maternity leave, the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare should take necessary steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

With supportive legislation, women’s fear of losing jobs after childbirth can be addressed.

The average marriage age for Iranian men and women has reached 34 and 27, respectively. Therefore with postponement of childbearing, many couples may lose their golden years of fertility.

According to experts, woman’s fertility period peaks in early 20s; therefore from a biological perspective, this is the best decade for childbearing. As they grow older, fertility declines significantly for most women. At the age of 35, the decline begins to accelerate and after 35, the chances of giving birth to children with ‘Down Syndrome’ increases.

 Spousal Conflict

“In addition to lack of job security, there are other factors which lead to postponement or denial of childbearing, including conflicts between couples, especially in the first six years of their marital life,” Ghaderpour said.

Marital conflicts in these years are so high that most of the divorces occur during this period. Nearly 14.2% of all divorces occur in the first year, 12% in the second, 9.2% in the third, 7.4% in the fourth, 6.5% in the fifth and 5.7% in the sixth year (55% of divorces occur in the first six years).

 After the early years, couples reach a level of stability in their relationships, which is essential before starting a family.

Given that the average marriage age for women is 27, it can be concluded that many women would give birth to their first child at the age of 33, when it is a little late. Many also get divorced before the first child.

Raising people’s awareness about the benefits of marital counseling in the early years of marriage can be effective. Counselors can improve couples’ relationship by teaching them life skills.