Tehran hosts IORA working group of women’s economic empowerment
Tehran hosts IORA working group of women’s economic empowerment
The 7th Meeting of the Working Group of the Women's Economic Empowerment (WGWEE) of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was held in Tehran on May 22-23.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –The 7th Meeting of the Working Group of the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WGWEE) of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was held in Tehran on May 22-23.

The WGWEE is the main body tasked with improving Women’s Economic Empowerment in IORA and was established in August 2018.

Paying attention to the issue of women’s economic empowerment as a multifaceted issue in all IORA priority areas with a special focus on the water economy is one of the objectives of the working group.

Increasing awareness and understanding of the role and contribution of women entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders in economic development in the IORA region and creating an empowering environment where women and girls can reach their full economic potential through increasing social awareness, quality education, and providing economic opportunities, promoting dialogue, sharing good practices, policies, and programs that support women are also among the objectives.

The WGWEE is also tasked with boosting links with other working groups with a view to creating a coherent platform for mainstreaming gender in IORA programs and activities; cooperating with international, regional, national, and specialized organizations to research and collect gender-separated data; and strengthening partnerships with regional and international organizations such as United Nations Women, United Nations Development Program, World Trade Center, International Labor Organization, other organizations, and the private sector.

The WGWEE maintains a Work Plan of initiatives by Member States to facilitate Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Indian Ocean region. The Work Plan is premised on the Jakarta Concord, IORA Action Plan 2017-21.

It includes activities to mainstream gender considerations in all priority areas of IORA, improve women’s participation in IORA events, improve the financial inclusion of women, support and promote the training of women entrepreneurs, conduct research-based initiatives for enhancing women’s economic empowerment, and promote the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

The meeting was a part of the IORA Secretariat’s activities of networking with the diplomatic missions of Member States and missions from Dialogue Partners accredited to Mauritius in order to share and brief on the latest development in IORA.

IORA Secretariat had a meeting with Diplomatic Missions of IORA Member States and Dialogue Partners on 19 May 2023 at the Secretariat’s Conference room.

Women’s empowerment in Iran

Over the past year, positive measures have been taken by the government to empower women in both social and economic arenas.

Establishing a guarantee fund for women heads of households, reorganizing the employment situation of women, reducing the divorce rate, launching a comprehensive statistical system for women, and setting up a working group on women’s health and security were among the measures, IRNA reported.

According to official statistics, there are some 3.5 million female heads of households, but unofficial figures put the number at more than six million.

Special programs have been carried out with the aim of creating a safe environment for female entrepreneurs and providing sustainable job opportunities for women heads of households.

Paying attention to the managerial position of women was another important and effective program last year, so 25.2 percent of managerial positions at the high, middle, and executive levels of government institutions were allocated to women.

Setting up 4,200 credit funds for rural women and employing 2,390 women as members of the board of directors of knowledge-based companies were other measures in this regard.

Improving the social security insurance coverage for women heads of households, reducing women’s unemployment rate to 13.7 percent, developing sustainable businesses, and implementing a national plan to empower rural and nomadic women were also conducted in the past year.

And last but not least, the national budget bill increased women’s share of the budget by 50 percent.

The Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs has released a report on the achievements of women after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in 7 areas of “education”, “health”, “employment and entrepreneurship”, “media”, “sports”, “decision-making”, and “environment, climate, and crises”.

In the field of education, the share of women in university faculty members has increased by 33.3 percent, and in medical sciences universities by 34 percent. Also, the number of female students in the country’s universities has increased by 56 percent, according to the report.

Also, illiteracy among women and girls has been nearly eradicated as the literacy rate reached 99.3 percent and the ratio of female to male students has increased by 28 percent.

The report also says that after the Islamic Revolution until the past Iranian calendar year (March 2021-March 2022), more than 9,500 female authors and 840 female publishers were active in the country.

In the field of employment and entrepreneurship, 4,200 rural women’s credit funds have been operating. Also, 2,390 women work as members of the board of directors of knowledge-based companies.

According to this report, there are 16,111 sports clubs for women in the country, and 3,302 medals have been won by female athletes in recent world events.

Moreover, 70 women have been presidents of sports committees at the provincial level, and 51 women have been presidents and heads of sports federations. Also, 88,366 women referees have participated in national and international competitions, and Iranian women have worked in 97 international seats in world sports federations.

In the field of media, the participation rate of women in the field of information technology has reached 5.31 percent, 903 women filmmakers have worked in the field of cinema and 2000 women specialists have worked behind the scenes.

Also, 114 national awards and 128 international awards have been won by female filmmakers in prominent festivals.

  • source : Tehrantimes