The budget proposed for women and family affairs has increased by 61 percent in the national budget bill for the next calendar year (starting on March 20).
Women, as half of the active population in any society, make an important contribution to development and growth, and financial support is needed to increase this effectiveness. The issue has been considered in the annual national budget.
The budget, which directly covers women and family affairs, is equivalent to 37 trillion rials (nearly $880 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials), which increased by 61 percent compared to the current year’s budget.
The largest share of women’s budget is earmarked to the organizations active in the field of women and the family, which accounts for about 75 percent of the total credit, IRNA reported on Tuesday.
About 30 percent of the total women budget is allocated to children, 73 percent of which will be spent on supportive activities to meet the basic biological needs of children, and only about 30 percent is allocated to education and training issues.
The largest increase in credit is related to the “Allowance for improving the nutrition of children with metabolic diseases”, which has increased almost 13 times compared to this year’s budget.
Budget for women breadwinners up 50%
Supporting women heads of households in the form of insurance, services, and social support is another important issue, which accounts for 25 percent of the budget, which has grown by about 50 percent.
Female-headed households’ share of the national budget accounts for 23 percent of the total credits for women and the family.
In Iran, there are 3 million women-headed households (WHH), out of a total of 22 million families, and most of the WHH can be found in less developed areas of the country, according to the UNDP office in Iran.
Steps taken toward women’s empowerment
Masoumeh Ebtekar, the vice president for women’s and family affairs, said in October that the government has taken major steps for the advancement of women and families in Iran.
“Through an inter-sectoral process, we developed national indicators for gender equity, which laid the ground for the first result based Plan for Women and Family Advancement in 31 provinces and we recently launched the dashboard for monitoring indicators on gender equity and family prosperity.”
“Based on our review of legislation on women and family, we have proposed 10 new bills including the bill on the Protection of Women’s Security Against Violence and several new laws,” the vice president added.
“At least 2700 women-focused NGOs are active in Iran and we have plans for the empowerment of civil society activities, we have successfully implemented schemes like enhancing social resiliency, also the economic empowerment of thousands of women heads of the household through micro-credit Funds and Cooperatives,” she added.
She went on to highlight that the family is the cornerstone of human development, through the National Family Dialogue scheme. “We have taken an initiative to empower civil society in dialogue skills to enable family and social cohesiveness. The International Center for Family Dialogue has been recently launched in Tehran.”
In the field of legislation, finalizing the bill to ensure the security of women against violence, which can play an important role in combating domestic violence, the implementation of the plan granting Iranian citizenship to children born to Iranian women and non-Iranian men, and the bill banning the marriage of girls under 13, has been among the government’s efforts, she concluded.