These women are the most deprived women in society, many of whom make a living through labor and vending, and part of their income comes from waste segregation, which is not enough to have a suitable life.
In most countries, social organizations for the sick and disabled provide the livelihood of this vulnerable group by paying monthly salaries, but in the Velayat-e-Faqih’s regime in Iran, the miserable living conditions of these women are so deplorable that the media and government agencies inevitably shed crocodile tears for them, and report on the miserable lives of them and their families.
On this subject the state-run daily Javan, with the title “Women heads of households do not have guardians,” wrote:
“Many women’s and family institutions, such as the assistance of the Vice President for Women and the Family, or the Women’s Parliamentary Faction, seem to have no understanding of the issue of women heads of households, which can be seen in their speeches, comments, and especially their decisions. Official statistics say there are 3.6 million people, but it is unlikely that there will be unofficial statistics here, which is always higher than official statistics.” (Javan, 27 April)
The living conditions of these women and their dependents during the coronavirus crisis are more and more critical, and they are one of the most vulnerable groups in society during this crisis.
State-run daily Jahan-e Sanat wrote: “The government wanders between bread and life”.
“Currently, the crisis over the spread of the coronavirus has the Iranian labor force, slum dwellers, the unemployed, the vendors, women heads of households and other vulnerable sections of society who were facing an unimaginable economic crisis before Corona and in the shadow of sanctions forced to wanders between “life and bread”. (Jahan-e Sanat, 13 April 2020)
Javan daily wrote: “One of the most important groups affected by the coronavirus is women in the household. Women heads of households working in underground workshops must take care of their own lives alone. They are very vulnerable in this situation.
“The main structures of society have never identified underground workshops that exploit workers and employ them without any legal rights, and this causes them to suffer more and more in such crises.” (Javan Online, 13 April)
In a report, IRNA news agency, with the title “Let’s hear the voice of the women breadwinners of the house,” wrote: “The Coronavirus from the very beginning of its appearance has shown that it has far-reaching social consequences, and of course, as time goes on, it becomes more complex and widespread, and its effects on the livelihoods of families exacerbate the social and psychological consequences of the virus.
“The severity of these consequences in the range of economic, social and psychological problems, although it affects all classes and individuals at different levels, one of these in this wide range are women-headed households, whose income has dropped to zero during the ‘stay at home’ quarantine, At the same time, they do not have any savings on which they can live.
“Vulnerable groups, including women heads of households, have been severely harmed by being kept at home to be safe from the coronavirus, and in this situation, they have no hope for their future.” (IRNA, 17 April)
The media and government experts report the feminizing of poverty, and the feminization of poverty is a common term among their writings.
According to Ali Rabiee, spokesman for Hassan Rouhani’s government, there are 3.2 million women, of whom only 200,000 are covered by the Welfare Organization. (Tasnim news agency, 31 May 2018)
Before him, Tayyebeh Siavashi, a member of the regime’s parliament, said that the statistics on women’s heads of households vary. She announced that they are more than 5 million of them. (Majlis new agency, 7 August 2017)
Given that a few years have passed since the presentation of these statistics by the spokesman of the Rouhani government and this member of the regime’s parliament, and given the spread of poverty among the people, in the current situation, the statistics are certainly much higher. And during the Corona crisis in recent months, more women have joined this situation.
Seeing scenes of women collecting food from trash cans that abound today is another sign of the poverty and deprivation that plagues this vulnerable group.
When the minority four percent, as Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the former mayor of Tehran, once said, have the vast majority of the country’s wealth, naturally, the flip side of the coin is such an astonishing level of poverty.