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Gov’t Has ‘Special’ Plan  for Insurance of Housewives
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Gov’t Has ‘Special’ Plan for Insurance of Housewives

Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi said an insurance plan for housewives is being worked out through “a special mechanism.”  She was speaking on the sidelines of the 8th educational workshops for women NGOs in Arak city in Markazi Province, on Saturday.
The government will pay part of the premium amount that women should pay under the “self-employed insurance plan,” she said without further elaboration.
The plan being drafted by the Government Social Commission is in its final stages, and will soon be proposed to the Cabinet for approval, IRNA reported.
Earlier, some mechanisms were suggested by MPs to finance the plan, including “deducting a certain amount” from the salaries of employees of state-run organizations and transferring the money to accounts of housewives.
“With a monthly payment of $60 (26% of the minimum wage) for a period of 15-20 years, housewives can have insurance cover,” for their retirement or old age, Molaverdi said.
“While we still don’t have accurate information about the number of housewives who have not been covered by any form of insurance services so far, there are many housewives who are covered by different insurance organizations. We want to offer high quality services to all of them.”
According to official figures, there are more than 19 million housewives in the country.
Women aren’t paid wages when they care for children, clean up homes or cook for the family. This informal work is not recognized by governments in national accounts like formal paid jobs. Yet the work women do in the home has a huge impact on the country’s economy. The inclusion of paid informal work in national accounts has become all the more crucial in recent years.

 Earlier Promises
Molaverdi had said last June that the plan to insure domestic housewives (that also covers female-headed households) is under review by the Government Social Commission.
The vice president had also reportedly stated that the budget allocated would be used to develop insurance coverage for female-headed households.
There are 2.5 million female-headed households in Iran. The number of female-headed households has more than doubled over a quarter century and seen an upswing from 1.2 million in 1991 to 2.5 million in 2015 -- a 108% increase.
 “In fact, 12% of households in Iran are headed by women, 82% of whom are unemployed.”
If the government had doubled the allocated budget to 1500 billion rials ($43.4 million), 500,000 female-headed households would have been insured, she said.
The State Welfare Organization supports 600,000 people in women-headed households. More than five million people are supported by the SWO, of whom 180,000 are women heads of households. Furthermore, 58,000 women are waiting to be brought under its umbrella.

 Obstacles
The Housewives Insurance Plan was first approved in 2002 but there were obstacles to its implementation, including financial constraints and lack of a proper mechanism.
The Social Security Organization (SSO) law in 2008 declared housewives as self-employed and entitled to insurance. Later, it was proposed that a part of the revenue from the Subsidy Reform Plan be used for implementing the scheme. But the free insurance scheme for housewives failed to take off.
In April 2015, Seyed Taghi Nourbakhsh, head of the SSO had said that with a monthly payment of $55, housewives can be covered by insurance services.
“For now, the plan will be executed in the form of self-employed insurance,” he said, adding that housewives would get free insurance coverage on the condition that the scheme is financed by the government.

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