Bill on dignity of women still in the making

January 22, 2023 - 16:59

TEHRAN - A bill aimed to protect the dignity of women against violence has been waiting for final approval for about ten years since it was drafted.

In January 2021, the administration submitted the long-awaited bill to the parliament.

The bill titled, Protection, Dignity, and Security of Women against Violence, had been under review since September 2019. It criminalizes any act or behavior that causes “physical or mental harm” to women “as a vulnerable gender”.

It recommends a fund for safeguarding women’s rights with provisions for providing medical expenses for the victims of violence and imparting skill development training to them.

For the first time in Iran's legal system, this bill defines violence against women and considers various types of violence as "crimes" and provides "punishments" for them.

At the same time, it has set tasks for the relevant judicial and executive bodies to prevent the occurrence of violence against women and provide support to the victims of violence by directing and regulating the aforementioned bodies.

Ensieh Khazali, the vice president for women and family affairs, told ISNA that the bill for protecting the dignity of women against violence has been submitted to the parliament.

In this regard, meetings have been held with the members of the parliament, and this bill has been placed on the agenda of the parliament with a double urgency, she added.

Meanwhile, Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of the High Council for Human Rights and deputy head of the Iranian judiciary, has recently said that in order to protect women's rights as much as possible, the headquarters submitted proposals to the social committee and the presiding board of the parliament to amend the bill.

Empowering women

The national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1402, which starts on March 21, has increased the budget for women’s affairs by over 50 percent compared to the current year’s budget.

Some 580 billion rials (about $1.5 million) have been proposed by the budget bill for the next year compared with 320 billion rials (about $800,000) for the current year.

Meanwhile, the National Headquarters for Women and Family Affairs has approved six plans to support families and empower women and improve their status in society.

The formation of a loan guarantee fund for women heads of households was one of the plans of the National Headquarters for Women and Family Affairs.

Due to the fact that many female breadwinners could not use business loans due to the lack of a guarantor, the fund was established to help them.

According to official statistics, there are 3.5 million female heads of households, but according to unofficial statistics, the figure reaches more than 6 million.

A plan is entitled ‘Upgrading the structure of the vice president and advisors related to the vice presidency for women and families.’

Women’s achievements

The Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs has released a report on the achievements of women after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in 7 areas of “education”, “health”, “employment and entrepreneurship”, “media”, “sports”, “decision-making”, and “environment, climate, and crises”.

In the field of education, the share of women in university faculty members has increased by 33.3 percent, and in medical sciences universities by 34 percent. Also, the number of female students in the country's universities has increased by 56 percent, according to the report.

Also, illiteracy among women and girls has been nearly eradicated as the literacy rate reached 99.3 percent and the ratio of female to male students has increased by 28 percent.

The report also says that after the Islamic Revolution until the past Iranian calendar year (March 2021-March 2022), more than 9,500 female authors and 840 female publishers were active in the country.


Leave a Comment