Significant strides made for women’s empowerment in Iran: VP Ebtekar

October 2, 2020 - 17:7

TEHRAN – Masoumeh Ebtekar, the vice president for women’s and family affairs, has said that significant strides have been taken for the empowerment of women and family in the country.

During a high-level meeting to commemorate the landmark 1995 UN women’s conference in Beijing, Ebtekar said that she was the head of her country’s delegation in Beijing and witnessed how women from all nations strived to improve the inclusive qualities of the Platform for Action.

She also said that “25 years after Beijing, the world has advanced in some areas but, in other dimensions, we still have many challenges before us.”

“We have not achieved on many of those areas and have retreated in some like war, poverty and disease,” she said. “The struggle against inequality and racism is ongoing and has emerged as a major issue in the Western Hemisphere.”

“The world needs a paradigm shift to reflect justice, human values, and to protect the rights of women. Four decades after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, we still have many challenges, even though we have advanced significantly in many areas like education and health, life expectancy for women has increased by 25 years.”

Our nation has resisted superpowers and stands proudly and independently and advances on its own homegrown paradigm of development.

The government has taken major strides for the advancement of women and family in Iran, through an inter-sectoral process, we developed national indicators for gender equity, which laid the ground for the first result based Plan for Women and Family Advancement in 31 provinces and we recently launched the dashboard for monitoring indicators on gender equity and family prosperity.

The Vice President added that based on our review of legislation on women and family, we have proposed 10 new bills including the bill on the Protection of Women's Security Against Violence and several new laws.

At least 2700 women-focused NGOs are active in Iran and we have plans for the empowerment of civil society activities, we have successfully implemented schemes like enhancing social resiliency, also the economic empowerment of thousands of women heads of the household through micro-credit Funds and Cooperatives, she added.

She went on to highlight that the family is the cornerstone of human development, through the National Family Dialogue scheme; we have taken an initiative to empower civil society in dialogue skills to enable family and social cohesiveness. The International Center for Family Dialogue has been recently launched in Tehran, even while foreign intervention has plagued our region, Iran has endeavored to promote peace and stability.

At the end of her statement, Ebtekar praised the dedicated efforts of Iranian healthcare workers who have successfully managed the Covid-19 pandemic in the midst of economic and propaganda war and hoped for the health, and prosperity of all humanity.

Steps taken to improve status of women and family

In August, Ebtekar said that in 2017 the national headquarters for women and family upgraded the quality of pre-marriage, marriage, and post-marriage education.

The adoption of gender justice indicators in 2018, the compilation of 31 documents to improve the status of women and the family, which have made each province a local program to improve the situation of families, as well as the development and approval of family indicators in 2019, are among other measures taken, she explained.

In addition to these policies and plans, the government's practical measures include increasing and providing marriage loans for youth and prioritizing young couples for home mortgages, she highlighted.

Ebtekar went on to say that also, paying attention to the communication skills of family members in the framework of the national family dialogue plan, which has been modeled and implemented in 68 parts of the country so far.

Economic empowerment of women heads of households across the country has also been one of the important measures, she also added.

In the field of legislation, finalizing the bill to ensure the security of women against violence, which can play an important role in combating domestic violence, the implementation of the plan granting Iranian citizenship to children born to Iranian women and non-Iranian men, and the bill banning the marriage of girls under 13, has been among the government's efforts, she concluded.

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