More Iranian women work than reported

Iran Materials 7 December 2011 11:56 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 7/ Trend M. Moezzi/

More than 40 percent of Iranian women contribute to the economy, a far greater rate than the 12.4 percent reported by Iran's Statistics Center last summer, IRNA reported.

Citing the significant rise in women getting university degrees, labor expert Seyed Ali Hashemi said it seems unlikely that these women wouldn't use their degrees for work.

Iranian women's economic participation rate was reported to be 17 percent five years ago (2005/2006), and a drop in this rate doesn't make sense, Hashemi told IRNA.

The average household size is smaller, marriage age has gone up and women's education levels have increased, accordingly data shows that women's economic participation rate must have grown.

When comparing the rate of Iran's employed women with their counterparts in other nations with similar cultures, like Turkey and Malaysia, it is clear there shouldn't be such a significant difference, IRNA cited Hashemi saying.

Increased unemployment for Iranian women, especially young women, shows that the labor market is less favorable than before, but the participation rate includes those unemployed and searching for work. So, it is doubtful that women included in the census did not say they were seeking employment. Additionally, rural women have traditionally contributed to their household's economic situation but may declare themselves homemakers in the census, Hashemi told IRNA.