Child benefit has been deducted from women’s salaries and only housewives with three children can have insurance.
Speaking about the New Year’s budget and the Sixth Development Program, Zahra Sa’ii, spokeswoman for the parliamentary social committee, explained about insurance of housewives. She said, “Only housewives with three children can receive insurance. Because of the present economic conditions and limited resources of the government, only a limited number of housewives can receive insurance.”
Sa’ii added, “We sought to provide insurance for all housewives, similar to developed countries where housewives enjoy certain rights. In light of the existing economic problems, however, it was not possible to implement such a plan and the government did not afford the additional expenditure, so they prevented the implementation of this plan.”
In the same interview, Zahra Sa’ii also revealed that child benefit has been being deducted from the payrolls of women heads of household since Autumn 2017. The decision was implemented abruptly and the amount that had been previously paid to them were withdrawn at once from their accounts. (The state-run Salamat News website, March 28, 2018)
Parvaneh Salahshouri, head of the so-called women’s faction in the mullahs’ parliament, had previously asserted that the New Year’s budget increases poverty rather than decreasing it. She said more than 30 per cent of the credit for insurance of housewives with three children and more had been cut. (The state-run ISNA news agency – December 18, 2017)
There are 3.5 million women heads of household in Iran, most of who do not have any form of employment due to numerous obstacles for women’s education and employment. Only 180,000 of women heads of household are covered by the Welfare Organization and receive a monthly financial aid of 70,000 toumans (or $18 which is less than 10 per cent of the minimum wage). Women heads of household thus resort to unconventional means to earn for their families’ needs, including sale of their body parts.