Mitigating Rural Women’s Problems

Mitigating Rural Women’s ProblemsMitigating Rural Women’s Problems

The main obstacles to women’s participation in rural development are rooted in personal, family, and socio-cultural issues. The problems need to be deliberated and solutions sought, said Zahra Saei, president of women’s affairs at Tehran’s governor general’s office.  

She pointed to “the insufficient education, including 25 percent illiteracy and 75% under-education among rural women” at a recent meeting. Managers of the offices of rural affairs and councils, and women’s affairs at the governor generals’ offices, attended the meeting.  

As women are responsible for carrying out a large part of domestic chores and also attend to several matters outside their homes, it leaves them “no spare time to dedicate to rural development.” Approximately fifty percent of agriculture work in rural areas is carried out by women; yet only five percent enjoy quality education. Insufficient information and impractical knowledge hinder development. Malnutrition and low health rates are also affecting their growth, ISNA quoted her as saying.


 Rural areas are often male-dominated and “men do not like their women folk to participate in social activities. Gender discrimination and poverty are factors which have a huge negative impact,” she observed.  Illogical customs and traditions, low incomes, lack of access to educational facilities and inadequate NGOs, all hinder and limit women’s presence in developmental activities, the official said.

Eradicating illiteracy by improving access to education, establishing rural women’s knowledge centers, developing productivity in agricultural products, improving the quality of rural handicrafts, can help mitigate women’s problems and enhance their participation in developmental programs in rural areas, she added.