Iran, Pakistan to enhance co-op on women’s empowerment

August 2, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian vice-president for women’s and family affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, and the Pakistani ambassador to Iran, Riffat Masood, discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the field of women’s empowerment.

The two officials agreed to expand cooperation and exchange knowledge during a meeting held on Wednesday, according to the portal of vice-presidency for women’s and family affairs.

“In November 2018, we proposed and submitted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights, while awaiting an answer concerning the beginning of cooperation in the mentioned areas," Ebtekar said.

Measures have been taken in recent years upholding women's rights in Iran including, supporting female heads of households, women's employment and entrepreneurship, and providing safe shelters for breadwinner women, and prohibiting child marriage, as well as holding courses on promoting women’s rights, Ebtekar explained.

“We are trying to form a national family and intergenerational dialogue center. We are taking steps toward reducing the generation gap.”

Under the Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2021-2025), gender equality is emphasized to provide equal opportunities in all areas, including health, education, as well as women's political and economic participation, she highlighted.

Although, there is no gender parity in the parliament or elections in Iran, according to the president's declaration issued in 2016, 30 percent of managerial positions in all provinces and government agencies should be allocated to women, she added.

She went on to say that appointment of women has increased by 65 percent in provincial state-run organizations and by 17 percent in government bodies.
Furthermore, many foreign nationals are being supported and receiving education in the country, Ebtekar noted, and added that a number of NGOs are also active in the field of supporting foreign nationals.

Masood, for her part, expressed satisfaction over expanded cooperation between the two countries and said that Iran and Pakistan can cooperate in different areas including science, technology and the environment.

Referring to the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) in Pakistan focusing on women and girls, she lamented that “we have limitations in women's political and economic participation, especially in the parliament or city councils.”

The Pakistani official further proposed a joint meeting in the field of women and entrepreneurship and the exchange of experiences, concluding that using the experiences of a country such as Iran in the field of female education would be greatly beneficial and effective.

FB/MG

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