TEHRAN (Iran News) – President of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC) in an international webinar pointed to the role of women in the economic development and said women’s presence in the economy and the market has different consequences like increase in the earnings of the household, boost of productivity and ultimately improvement of the level of welfare among the all walks of the society.
The webinar was held with cooperation of Embassy of South Africa in Tehran last week with participation of the President of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC) Mr. Bahman Abdollahi, the Ambassador of South Africa in Tehran, the President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the Deputy Minister of South Africa in Small Business Development, the representative of SEWA cooperative, the head of ICC’s Women Committee and the Director of Cooperative Training, Promotion and Research Office of Iranian government, as well as prominent women cooperators from Iran and South Africa.
Addressing the webinar, the president of ICC Mr. Abdollahi said, “Today, one of the biggest goals of countries is to achieve sustainable economic development.” Economic development, as one of the contexts for the growth and development of human societies, can be successful when it is done with the help and participation of all social groups and for all of them.”
He added, “Human resource is one of the most important and effective factors in the development of societies and women, as half of the world’s population, have a major role in development and role in society.”
He continued: “According to international statistics, a significant share of work in the world is done by women formally and informally. Therefore, if the potential talents of this section of society are considered, it can be considered as one of the largest sources of investment for developing countries. Therefore, women with their wide participation in various economic sectors can move the wheel of a country’s economy and play an active and major role in developing the economy and advancing the goals of society’.”
Abdollahi acknowledged that the presence of women in the economy and labor market will have various consequences, including increasing the level of family income, reducing the burden of dependence, increasing productivity and ultimately improving the level of welfare in economy.
He also mentioned the expansion of international cooperation between countries and the transfer of experiences as one of the ways to strengthen the women’s cooperatives, and stressed the need to strengthen the relations of the Iranian cooperative movement with South Africa.
Meanwhile South African Ambassador to Tehran Vika Mazwi Khumalo, for his part, pointed to the history of the women’s movement as well as the occasion of Women’s Day in South Africa. He noted, “South Africa celebrates Women’s Day on 9 August, since it was on this day in 1956 that these struggle heroes led some 20,000 women from various regions in South Africa to march to the then apartheid capital of Pretoria in protest against the so-called “pass laws,” which limited and controlled the movement of Africans inside their own country.”
He also mentioned the occasion of Women’s Day in Iran and continued: “I am aware, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have recently celebrated the birth of Fāṭimah al-Zahrā, on 20 Jumada al-Thani. This significant event is commemorated, as the Iranian Mother’s Day. She was the leader of all women, an exemplar of women, and above all, a sincere Muslim, who played a significant and key role within her community as well as the Moslem faith.”
He further referred to the position of women in South Africa and stated: “South Africa has managed to register significant advances for Women, since 1994. Women and their rights are not only enshrined in our Constitution, but South African women have been increasingly more active in government and policy-making, with 50% of the national cabinet and 46% of our Parliament constituting women.
Then Ariel Guarco, the President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), welcomed the cooperation between the Cooperative Movement of Iran and South Africa and praised the initiative.
In part of his message, he emphasized the important role of women in strengthening cooperative identity and creating more equitable communities in the world. In this line, cooperatives, due to their nature, can make a great contribution.