Gender discrimination is rife across Iran in everyday life, and it is also evident in the Iranian regime’s wage laws. Women working in unofficial workshops, without access to any government support, are forced to accept extremely low wages, or risk losing their jobs. They are forced to accept much lower wages than the men in similar conditions, and this discrimination violates the world accepted general law of ‘equal work – equal pay’.
This situation becomes even worse for women who are from the deprived parts of the society. They must tolerate double exploitation, by not having the opportunity to fight for their rights in any of the regime’s courts as the regime’s laws do not protect the women and implement their rights.
The regime’s supposed Women Security Bill has not been approved after ten years, and many of the regime’s officials have said that this bill, due to the many changes and footnotes, has ‘no teeth anymore’.
Gender discrimination in labor relations is not just limited to informal workshops and unskilled and uninsured workers. Wage equality is not even observed in formal workshops, nor for insured employers and retired persons in terms of their pension funds. A clear example of this is the non-payment of Eid benefits to insured women, whether employed or retired.
The regime set the extra pay for employers at 16 million rials. Also, in line with the general policies of the family, within the framework of legal credits, it was decided to pay 4,000,000 rials to married employees, and 1,500,000 rials for each child. The regime also claimed that this was also considered for the retirees of the Social Security Organization. However, protests over the past year have shown that this extra pay was neither implemented nor covered their expenses, even if implemented Even worse, when the extra pay vouchers were issued, women realized they had been excluded from the extra salary.
Despite the regime’s laws prohibiting gender discrimination, it occurs daily in every aspect of life. Even Article 38 of the Labor Code explicitly prohibits gender discrimination in wages. It reads, “For equal work done under equal conditions in a workshop, men and women must be paid equal wages. Discrimination in determining the amount based on age, sex, race and ethnicity and political and religious beliefs is prohibited.”
And that’s not all. The women’s share in Iran’s labor market is only 16 percent, far behind even the least developing countries, and according to the regime’s state-run media, because of the harsh discrimination women in Iran face, it will take 257 years for them to benefit from equal pay with the men.
Despite the regime claiming many times that it has reserved more than 50 percent of the university quotas for women, only about 30 percent of them are faculty. Of all these higher education centers, only one is run by a woman because it is attended only by women.
The country’s managerial share for the women is less than five percent, and despite having high educational records even better than the men, more than 2.4 million household women are searching for jobs, with most of them finally forced to accept the low payingjobs. In the regime’s parliament, the women’s share is just four percent, and since the start of Ebrahim Raisi’s government this rate has fallen even lower.
According to ISNA on March 21, 2021, out of 33,000 mayors in Iran, only 2,500 are women, and out of 109,000 council members in urban and rural areas, only 2,800 are women.