Iran Cooperative Sector Welcome Cooperation With South Africa
Iran Cooperative Sector Welcome Cooperation With South Africa
Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC) in collaboration with South African Embassy in Tehran yesterday held a forum “The Role of Women in Cooperative Economy” for sharing successful experiences.

Iran Cooperative Sector Welcome Cooperation With South Africa


TEHRAN – Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC) in collaboration with South African Embassy in Tehran yesterday held a forum “The Role of Women in Cooperative Economy” for sharing successful experiences.

According to reports, head of the ICC Mr. Bahman Abdollahi emphasized that in the Islamic-Iranian culture, women have always had special place, adding, “Culturally and religiously, one can name Hazrat Fatemeh (A) as a complete model of a woman who depicts the real stance of woman in the Islamic society.

He also said that in the international cooperative movement, women have an especial place, adding that in line with the UN developmental programs, the presence and participation of women in the cooperative movement for empowerment of women in the society has been underscored.

He then pointed to role of women in cooperatives in some countries, adding that in Japan, 95 percent of cooperatives members are women and the figure in Spain is 65 percent.

Abdollahi added that women enjoy special stand in cooperatives sector of Iran and currently there are 93,500 active cooperatives in Iran and almost 11 percent of them belong to women and almost 33 percent of active cooperatives members are women.

He then pointed to some fields of cooperation of women in cooperatives in the country, adding that women are mostly involved in agriculture, mine and industry and hand-woven carpets sectors. He reiterated that 61 percent of women’s cooperatives are active in production sector.

He also pointed to the forum, adding that one of the approaches for empowerment of women is to use successful experiences of other countries and the forum was being held to take advantage of economic capacities of South Africa especially in the women’s sector.

Abdollahi hailed South Africa’s strong and advanced economic infrastructures, noting South Africa is currently most powerful country in Africa in terms of economy and progress.

He further said the trade balance between Iran and South Africa was minus $109m in 2018 and both countries should work to set a balance between  their imports and exports.

He said during the post-JCPOA era and the U.S. unilateral pullout of the JCPOA, there have been good potentials for economic cooperation between Iran and South Africa and it becomes more important for both states to bolster bilateral relations to strengthen their regional positions.

Abdollahi also pointed to some fields for cooperation between both states like steel, marine transportation, shipping, fishery, petrochemicals and construction materials.

He announced readiness of Iran’s cooperative sector for cooperation with their South African counterparts, adding that it is necessary to have proper planning for transfer of experiences between cooperatives activists and entrepreneurs of both states for women. He also called for constant interactions between the ICC and South African Embassy.

Meanwhile addressing the forum, South African Ambassador Vika Mazwi Khumalo said that it was his honor to welcome the participants to the celebration of Women’s Day at the ICC.

He then highlighted the role of women in South Africa’s economy, saying, “The Women in South Africa have always played a significant role in the struggle for liberation, and as early as 1908 women were in the forefront in the grassroots fight against apartheid. In the words of the former president of the African National Congress and 1960 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Albert Lithuli stated, “Women … have far less hesitation than men in making common cause about things that are basic to them”. These women include the likes of Lillian Masediba Matabane Ngoyi, Helen Suzman, Albertina Sisulu, Fatima Meer, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and many others. “

He further said,” South African women have been more active in government and policy-making, with 50% of the national cabinet and 46% of our parliamentarians being female. Women have also progressively begun to extend their benefit in the economic sphere by successively managing SMMEs. Women represent 52% of the South African population and black women are in fact the largest single self-employed segment of the population.”

The South African diplomat added, “Today as we are holding the celebration of Women’s Day in Tehran, we pay homage to all of these women – past and present – who had and continues to struggle for a better society. We recognize that there are hundreds of women who have quietly dedicated their lives to support, uplift and raise their communities. I wish you well in your discussions and sincerely wish that our engagements today would contribute to the labors of these women in their various communities, including identifying opportunities for cooperation between South African and Iranian women and their organizations.”