Mindsets Towards Women Should Change

Mindsets Towards Women Should ChangeMindsets Towards Women Should Change

The reasons for differences in women’s issues are not ‘economic’ as often assumed, but rather “they are rooted in the views and mindsets towards women,” Deputy Interior Minister for Women Affairs Fahimeh Farahmand-pour said.

The ministry is working to establish common discourse among middle-level government officials in the area of women affairs, Farhmand-pour said addressing a meeting in Khorasan Razavi Province.

To improve the status of women “we need to first and foremost change attitudes - especially those of men towards women. The opinions held by women about themselves also matter a great deal,’’ she said quoted by ISNA.

She further said women should be regarded as a force to move the country forward and ‘’as long as men think that problems facing women are only ‘women issues,’ the problems will not go away.’’

‘’Women’s issues are family issues and their security and concerns should be taken seriously,” Farahmand-pour maintained.

 Marriage & Divorce

Marriage and divorce are top concerns, the official said, noting that divorce rates are on the rise, while the numbers of marriages are declining. The average age of marriage has also risen and on the other hand younger couples are filing for divorce.

‘’We are witnessing a new social layer of young women who are now confirmed spinsters and their prospects of marriage is almost zero,’’ said Farahmand-pour.    

She also expressed concern that 9% to 10% of the drug addicts in the country are women saying there was a time when addiction was considered a ‘male issue’ and if the man lost his life to addiction, it was the woman who would hold the family together; but “if a woman gets hooked on to drugs the family literally comes part.”

Patterns of drug abuse have changed among women.’’While in the past women used conventional drugs at a later age, now the addiction age among women has declined to 27 years, with the majority favoring synthetic drugs.’’

 Single Women

Farahmand-pour referred to the ‘’feminization of the migration trend’’ to big cities whereby the trend for young women to stay and live on their own after graduation from universities in metropolises has become an established pattern.

‘’Living single lives has its own problems for our women given the cultural constraints,” she said.

The increasing population of women in universities in comparison with men has caused an imbalance and ‘’although this is something to be proud of, but the fact that 60% of university students are women has generated problems of its own kind.

’’ Women are more inclined to enter higher education than men in part “because they have no other choice.” By doing this, they postpone their “predicament (of joblessness) for four years or so which creates more complications later.’’

However, she said imposing restrictions on women’s entry to universities - which was done in the past - is one of the worst solutions to address the problems.

Farahmand-pour said no single body can handle women’s issues by itself and called for ‘’national commitment’’ to take on the challenges. If tackled successfully, it will solve many of the larger social and cultural maladies afflicting the society. She also urged the provincial Special Women Groups to play a more active role in women-related areas.