Posted by: Augusta Kiesau | March 27, 2014

Women have hope for jobs in Iran

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/03/05/285785498/iranian-women-make-a-push-for-greater-opportunities

First let me set the scene as to why this is so important and great.  Before the Iranian Revolution, when the Shah was in power, women held a variety of government positions such as judges and other positions.  However when the Iranian Revolution took place in 1979 (the same revolution that took over the US Embassy), the rebel religious extremists, whom took over, kicked women out of high ranking government positions such as judges.  The women could only receive clerical work because these rebels saw women as unequal to men due to their extreme Islamic beliefs.  The rebels were alright with women getting education, they just could not really apply it to getting the jobs they were qualified for

Now more women have higher degrees than men.  The current president is looking to push for changes in society to get more women in the workforce because Iran is losing talented young women due to them going abroad for the jobs they deserve.   One woman says, “We want to make better use of their knowledge. This is important, not just to have degrees.”  The president sees that more opportunities can improve the economy but there are just many obstacles against him.

What can be done to help women in a society where they are viewed as inferior? What sort of precautions should the president take when trying to approach this issue that was started in 1979?  Would it help to remind the people that women once held positions before the revolution?  How do you prevent violence to solve this considering many men will view it as taking away opportunities rather than offering opportunities?  Is there any simple solution or is it a complex and gradual process?  What do you all think?

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Responses

  1. I find this post incredibly intriguing. I do not know much about the history of Iran, except that women are clearly seen as inferior. I feel that they are making great strides to increase the possibilities of seeing women in the workplace, but not only the government, but the faith of many Iranians prevents women from being seen as equals -which I believe is the main issue here. The president basically has his work cut out for him. Addressing the issue of discrimination is a precarious one that must be handled with extreme caution and sensitivity. If the president is worried about appearance, he is at a loss. Many men and women will disagree with his decision if he moves forward with this. I feel like it’s a complex, gradual process that will not be solved overnight.

  2. This was a very interesting post. I, as well, do not know much about Iran, however, it seems like their current president is on the right track. He realizes that Iran is losing great, qualified women to jobs overseas, but I think his main objective should be to make the men of Iran see that too. The women should not be judged in the workplace because they are women, but should rather be judged on what skills and qualifications they have.

    I definitely think this is going to be a complex and gradual process. Most people are resistant to change, and for the Iranians, this is a big one. I think reminding the people of Iran that women held positions before the revolution would be something to talk about, but not constantly. The focus needs to be for the future and how Iran will become a better place, not just for women, but men too.

  3. What really struck me from this article was when it was stated that women make up 60% of the college population in Iran, but less than 20% of the work force. The struggles and discrimination that these women faced when trying to secure jobs is perhaps why there are so few in the workplace, as many are said to have traveled to other countries to work. Maybe Iran finally realized how many strong, capable women were leaving to prosper and wanted them to stay in Iran to build up the country. At least one can hope that this is their motivation. Women are so dominant in higher education, so I automatically thought that they would be high up in the workforce. I think that the overall process of incorporating them back into the workforce is going to be challenging, as I’m sure not all Iranians are on-board with this idea. However, I think that once this change has the opportunity to be seen at a larger scale, Iran will be able to prosper and overcome hardships due to the talent and determination of such hardworking women.

  4. Wow, thanks for bringing this article to our attention. I am happy that Iranian women seem to be making a comeback- in ambition, education, etc. I hope this trend continues. I also wish for the women an easy journey, but I think it is clear that it will be a gradual, and most likely difficult, path to equality. When a culture is set in its ways, especially gender roles, it takes time and work to change it. In the past, many cultures have been male-dominated and have made progress to equality but are still working on it. I believe that the President is in a good position to place women in leadership roles. There may be resistance but seeing a woman in the role is beneficial for gradual acceptance. In the meantime, I hope Iranian women make enough small victories to maintain their ambition.


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