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The Vice Presidency for Woman and Family Affairs is cooperating in reducing 11 of the social ills.
The Vice Presidency for Woman and Family Affairs is cooperating in reducing 11 of the social ills.

Focus of Vice Presidency on Women, Social Harm

The top three areas to be addressed are female addiction, divorce, and higher growth rate of certain sexually-transmitted diseases among women such as HIV/AIDS

Focus of Vice Presidency on Women, Social Harm

The Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs will prioritize ways to curb social harm among women in its agenda for the next fiscal year that begins in March 2017, Vice President Shahindokht Molaverdi said last week in Urmia, West Azarbaijan Province.
“The program in next year’s budget bill is not different from that of the outgoing year. But in terms of priority, addressing social harm among women takes precedence over other issues,” she said, according to press reports.
Share of the vice presidency in the proposed budget for 2017-18, submitted to parliament on December 4, has seen a 19% increase to $4 million (152 billion rials) from the current year’s budget of $3.2 million (128 billion rials).
Funds will be earmarked for empowering women, consolidating family structures, supporting community-based activities and NGOs and social participation of women, as well as research projects.
“The top three areas to be addressed are female addiction, divorce, and higher growth rate of certain sexually-transmitted diseases among women such as HIV/AIDS,” Molaverdi added.
Plans will be devised and executed in cooperation with the National Social Council, a nodal body under the Interior Ministry to supervise and oversee the implementation of executive policies on social harm reduction.
The new body established in August is in charge of coordination among executive bodies and overseeing their performance in planning and policy making vis-à-vis tackling social ills in the next five-year economic development plan (2016-2021).
Social harm has been a subject of debate and discussion among high-ranking officials for a year. In 2013, the Leader called on the Interior Ministry to prepare a full report on the status of social harm in the country. Stressing the need to control social harm, in particular addiction, he called on the relevant bodies to investigate the root problems of social maladies and find workable solutions.
“Almost 9% of the nearly two million addicts in the country are women,” Molaverdi said. “Male addiction is seen as more worrisome because it could expose women and children to domestic violence and therefore is frequently addressed,” she added.
The lower age of addiction among girls and a changing pattern of industrial drug abuse among teens are other areas of focus within the context of social harm concerning women in the upcoming agenda.

  Root of the Problem
There are 22 social problems to be addressed in the country. Divorce, unemployment, poverty, social marginalization (of those living in unofficial settlements), and addiction are the top five, among which addiction impacts the society hardest.
As a permanent member of the National Social Council, the Vice Presidency for Woman and Family Affairs is cooperating in reducing 11 of the social ills. A center to counter social harm concerning women and families has been formed, and is mandated to present a report on its performance to the council on a regular basis.
The aim of classifying and dividing national responsibilities to fight social ills is to take immediate action regarding 19 prioritized issues with a focus on preventive strategies and approaches.
Experts have blamed lack of a comprehensive plan to address social ills in the national development plans and inadequate resources to redress the situation as the reasons for the root cause of the growing concern.
State officials have often said that the denial in the past of the existence of social harm as a reality has indeed pushed society into the present situation.
The State Welfare Organization and the Iranian Red Crescent Society have reportedly devised their own plans to help promote social wellbeing.

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