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40% of Female Grads Unemployed in One Iranian Province

Iranian women labor

Leila Ajhir, Director General of Women and Family Affairs in Kurdistan, told the state-run Fars news agency: “38% of women with higher education in Kurdistan province are unemployed.”

In 2015, the Iranian authorities announced that nationally 85.9% of educated women were unemployed. Given the substantial damage done to the economy between then and now, one can only assume that the figure has risen.

Iran’s misogynist laws also mean that men and women are affected differently by the economic problems, with Massoumeh Ebtekar, the deputy for women and family affairs in Hassan Rouhani’s government saying just last month that educated women to find it harder to get a job than educated men.

Ebtekar said: “Unfortunately, the number of unemployed educated females are four times greater than unemployed educated males.”

Elsewhere, in Astara, it was reported that the wage gap between men and women in that location was particularly high, even considering that unemployment is rampant across all Iranian provinces and that wages do not match market prices.

This is all the more prominent for educated women as offices do not have the capacity to recruit so employment is almost impossible. Women, fearing the isolation and seclusion of being stuck in the home, accept these wages that are an insult to their years of education.

The same situation can even be seen in the capital, Tehran, with highly educated women, desperate to make a living, peddling on the streets because they suffer intense discrimination in job opportunities.

In their annual report on the status of women, the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Women’s Committee wrote that this discrimination is the main reason for low participation of women in the jobs market because the Iranian regime has “created and enforced numerous discriminatory laws and regulations”, which is a violation of women’s social and political rights.

Even the state-run media has reported that female employment in Iran is less than that of developing countries, with the official Iran Estekhdam website writing in 2016 that “women are constantly denied the right to work and are generally employed in informal, low-paid sectors”.

It should be noted that Iranian women’s participation in the labor force was a pitiful 12% under the reign of the Shah, who was overthrown by the people in 1979 before the mullahs stole victory from then.

According to the World Bank, this rose to an average of 14.21% between 1990 and 2017, but it should be noted that Iran’s population, and therefore its female population, has roughly doubled since 1979.


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