Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions(CISMOR)Doshisha University > Public Lectures > THE EMERGENCE AND SOCIAL MOBILITY OF WOMEN IN IRAN -Present circumstances and government measures –
THE EMERGENCE AND SOCIAL MOBILITY OF WOMEN IN IRAN -Present circumstances and government measures –
|Place：||Room RY305, Ryoshinkan, Imadegawa Campus, Doshisha University|
|Lecture：||Her Excellency Madam Shahindokht Molaverdi, Vice President for Women and Family Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran|
Madam Molaverdi delivered the lecture on the changing role of women in Islamic society in present day Iran. Since the 1979 revolution, the citizens of Iran have suffered hardships such as war and economic sanctions. Following the third five year plan, the local authorities cooperated with the government ministries to raise the status of women. Consequently, a higher level of gender equality was achieved especially in the field of primary education. This formed the basis for women’s active participation in society, economic activities and politics. Not only are women productive in academic and scientific publications, they are taking on the vital role of raising the next generation. Thus, it is crucial that we try to understand the specific roles and capacity that women play in research and education.
At the time of the revolution, 69 percent of all students nation-wide were male. Female students only constituted 31 percent of the student body. However, as state-sponsored public education began to spread and social justice started to be emphasized, equal opportunity for receiving education was promoted and the number of women applicants increased. Higher education played a crucial role in developing female students’ technical skills. In fact, by 2002 the female students outnumbered the males by 51 percent to 41 percent and continued to increase rapidly. Eventually the government intervened to establish a more suitable balance. As a result, the number of male students slightly outnumber the females‐ 53 percent to 47 percent today. There are academic divisions and departments such as medical school in which women outnumber the men in attendance.
During the past few decades, opportunities in gaining health services and education have improved for women. The government prioritized on equal and fair access to societal and economic resources regardless of gender. Nevertheless, one cannot deny that men have more opportunities than women from an economic and societal standpoint. As a result, social standards had to be adjusted and legal codes were amended while the value of housework and the care for the elderly were reassessed. By allowing property to be divided equitably, it was thought that women would be able to actively participate in the economy, politics and other cultural spheres.
After the agreement on nuclear weapons was reached, the economic sanctions were lifted and the Iranian economy improved. New approaches emerged toward developing the potential of Iranian women. Today there are more than 320 women head managers of knowledge-intensive companies. In the areas of trade and business, women have joined chambers of commerce, managers, heads of organizations, so that they can actively participate in the global market which sustains the Middle East.
The Vice President’s official resident has an internal section that deals with the needs of women and family affairs. They are adopting instructive measures that will form the legal, social and cultural basis of for women in order to increase their creative and productive capacities. In both Iran and Japan, international organizations have been set up that can foster cultural exchange while developing a reasonable balance between the work and home. Madam Molaverdi concluded her talk by emphasizing the need for university graduates to share information on commercial and state-sponsored projects which can lead to furthering women’s empowerment.
Jonathan Augustine (Ryukoku University)
*Lecture in Persian , interpretation will be provided.
*R.S.V.P by e-mail with name, affilication to rc-issin＠mail.doshisha.ac.jp by February 14 (Tue).