Iran, Japan to boost cooperation in women’s affairs

May 21, 2018

TEHRAN – A joint working group from Iran and Japan is to be set up in order to study and evaluate the situation of entrepreneurship among women in both countries.

The Iranian entrepreneurship development foundation for women and youth, which is non-profit NGO, and the Japanese Sasakawa Peace Foundation are tasked to form the working group.

The decision was made in the international workshop of challenges and opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship held in the National Library of Iran on May 14, Mehr news agency reported.

So far, some studies have been conducted in this regard by both countries and the results will be published in the future.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to help boost participation of women in the job market as part of the sixth five-year development plan,” said Gholam-Hossein Dehqani, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs.

Women play an important role in the global trade and there is no reason they cannot play the same role in Iran, Dehqani said.

The government is working to provide women with appropriate job opportunities, support equality in wages for men and women, protect security and health of women in the workplace, help them maintain life-work balance and set heavy punishment or those who harass female workers, he added.

Moreover, the official said the government is working to facilitate women’s access to internet and technology, a report by women.gov.ir said.

Majlis (the Iranian parliament), has also enacted legislations aimed at empowering women, including a bill to protect women from violence, the deputy foreign minister said.

Dehqani expressed hope Iran and Japan will expand cooperation on issues related to women’s entrepreneurship and will be able to help boost the role of women in the society and family.

Speaking at the gathering, Masoumeh Ebtekar, the vice-president for women and family affairs, said that the administration has put boosting women’s entrepreneurship on its agenda, as Iranian women are highly educated and capable of participating in economic activities.

“A big part of Iranian women holds university degrees. Besides, the number of women studying at universities is more than men in all majors except for engineering ones,” she said.

However, Ebtekar said, women have less participation in the job market, a problem that needs to be fixed.

Ebtekar further hoped that the conference, aimed at exchanging experience between the two countries on women’s entrepreneurship, will help improve the situation of women in Iran and Japan.

Executive Director at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Junko Chano said Iran and Japan will form a joint research team to explore and assess the situation of women entrepreneurship in Iran and Japan and come up with solutions to improve them.

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, an affiliate of Nippon Foundation, is a public foundation corporation that conducts research activities, policy recommendations, and international collaboration aimed at the formation of a new governance system of human society that is more sustainable for environment, oceans, and human welfare.

The foundation has been involved in several projects to promote mutual trust and understanding between Iran and Japan.

The two countries have held two rounds of a joint symposium in 2016 and 2017, which provide a platform for cooperation between the two nations in areas such as economic empowerment of women, introducing successful models of entrepreneurship and supportive government policies.

The workshop was coordinated by Iran’s vice-presidency for women’s and family affairs, Foreign Ministry, the National Library, and Japan’s Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

NM/MQ/MG

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