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Empowering Women Breadwinners
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Empowering Women Breadwinners

The number of women migrating from small towns to the capital is surging every day leading to an increase in female-headed households, says Fahimeh Firouzgar, director of the Office for Empowerment of Women Breadwinners at Tehran Municipality.

“The best way to help such households is by empowering and counseling them, and providing rehabilitation services,” she said, ILNA reported.

Noting that so far 5,000 women have been trained for occupational skills at Kowsar rehabilitative centers, affiliated to the municipality and dedicated to supporting female-headed households, she said currently 1,300 people are providing services at the centers.

There are 140 Kowsar centers across the capital.

The centers, under the supervision of the Office for Empowerment of Women Breadwinners, provide counseling services as well as vocational training to female breadwinners to enable them join the national production cycle.

The total number of female-headed households in the country has seen  a whopping 55% upswing from 1.2 million in 1991 to 2.5 million in 2015, accounting for 12% of all Iranian households, as stated by the head of the State Welfare Organization, Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei.

According to a UNFPA report, over 70% of women-headed households are widows, more than 13% are married, 10% are divorced, and 5% never married. However, the higher rate of divorce is largely blamed for the increasing number of female-headed households.

“So far, nearly 1,000 women have gone through counseling sessions for a second time,” said Firouzgar, to help provide an overall and in-depth study of the situation so as to create adequate funding for their education and training in the next Iranian year (begins March 21, 2016).

Taking stock of the influx of female breadwinners into Tehran, she said those who have been residing in the city for several consecutive years will be given priority.

“Proper management of the situation depends on meticulous and efficacious counseling services, so that no one will be left behind.”

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