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Social perspective is Iranian female factory workers' major problem: official

A member of the presiding board of the Tehran Province Islamic Labor Council said on Saturday that the major problem with which the Iranian female factory workers are currently entangled is the cultural attitude of the Iranian society towards them, IRNA reported.

Speaking to IRNA, Ms. Nahid Jalali added, "The (Iranian) factory workers are generally faced with numerous problems today, and the female factory workers are entangled with double as much."

She added, "The Iranian women seeking jobs at factories, for instance, have less chances of being employed, and like many other developing countries, many women lose their traditional sources of income here, without succeeding to get a replacement job, due to the changing social and industrial circumstances."

Jalali referred to unequal wages for similar jobs, where women get less than men, as another problem with which the Iranian female factory workers are faced.

She added, "There are more and more obstacles in the way of occupational promotion for the female factory workers, that are partly due to the vast engagement of women in low rank social service and health care sections, and their being deprived of climbing the ladders of success towards higher social positions, particularly the managerial and administrative jobs."

She said that according to an opinion poll run by her affiliated council between the years 1992 and 1995 on women's employment, 66.5 percent of the Tehrani citizens believed that the most important task of a woman is to take proper care of her husband and children and to heed the household affairs.

"They have replied that a woman should heed the internal affairs of the house, while trusting the external affairs to her husband," she further elaborated.

The member of the presiding board of Tehran's labor council emphasized, "uncooperative attitude of Iranian men in household affairs and taking care of the children is among the major obstacles in the way of women's employment and getting involved in social activities."

Jalali said, "Lack of the sufficient required social support for women in the country's social, economic and cultural activities, keeping in mind their population ratio, has led to their quite inappropriate share in the aid fields."

Jalali referred to the supportive laws for women in Sweden, arguing, "In that country, thanks to the supportive laws for women employees, a women can enjoy 90 days off each year for such reasons as taking care of a sick child up to 12 years old, annual vacation, sickness, and heeding personal affairs."

She added, "That way, they take full advantage of their women's potentials in pushing forward their social objectives."

The official in charge of women's affairs at Tehran labor council concluded, "If a women has similar problems in Iran, she will be urged to quit her office, or factory work, and that is despite the fact that the Iranian family of that worker is most probably relying on her income much more than the family of the Swedish female employee relies on hers.

... Payvand News - 8/2/03 ... --

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