Hamdeli news website recently ran a piece that included statistics about the female unemployment rate in Iran, which shows that even female graduates find it twice as hard to gain employment as their male counterparts.
According to the state-run outlet, of 14.9% of Iranian women are part of the workforce with a massive 85% deprived of job opportunities. This is 23% less than men, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Hamdeli wrote: “According to official stats, [Iranian] women’s share of the job market is 20 per cent less than the average in countries of the Middle East and North Africa, [making the situation of female employment in Iran worse than that of Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan and Oman].”
Even those who do get a job are paid far less than their male colleagues are, with the WEF estimating that women receive 41% less than men. Women receive monthly salaries as low as 2.5-7 million rials ($19-50 at current exchange rates), despite the fact that the government’s declared monthly minimum wage is between 33% and 80% higher at 11 million rials, and that inflation has raised the poverty line to between 45 and 60 million rials. In some areas, female teachers earning between 2.5 and 5 million rials per month are even being denied any sort of insurance, which would cover them if they got ill.
Simply, women are only receiving a fraction of what they need to survive and their working conditions can be described as slavery.
One woman told Hamdeli that the company she works for has just seven employees, but last made had a turnover of 800 million rials. One employee earns 7 million rials and the rest earn between 3-5 million rials. But she can’t leave, because of the dire employment prospects.
The company’s CEO said: “In [Kohgiluyeh], finding work is very hard. There’s no work. Therefore, many people are willing to be employed at any price. In this regard, women have lower expectations than men.”
The Iranian regime is notorious for downplaying things that make them look bad, so the true situation is likely to be even worse, but even the picture painted by the news outlet and the WEF is bleak and worrying.
Overall, the WEF ranked Iran 139th in gender equality among 144 countries.