Women's Rights & Movements in IranIran: Women Heads of Households Are Victims of the...

Iran: Women Heads of Households Are Victims of the Mullahs


In Iran over the past three years, Iran’s women heads of households have endured exhausting pressures in various social, psychological, and economic dimensions.

According to the latest official statistics, out of 25,685,000 head of households, about 3,517,000 of them, equivalent to 14 percent of all household caretakers, were women.

Also, among deciles, about 45 percent of household caretakers are women in Decile 1 (poorest). In decile 2 22.4%, in the third decile, 16.9% in the fourth decile 6.12%, and in the fifth decile, 6.9% of the head of households are women. In the sixth to tenth deciles, between 8 and 10 percent of household caretakers are women.

It is very difficult to be able to address all aspects of the problems of women heads of households in Iran. But with a quick glance at the reality of Iranian society, we find a painful tragedy of oppression and persecution against these women.

The burden of this responsibility in the absence of facilities and poverty and social pressures has exposed Iran’s women heads of households to serious psychological and social harm.

A 53-year-old female head of household says in an interview with Al-Zahra University quarterly: “I feel humiliated, I feel that I cannot trust anyone anymore. Why should they look at me badly, what is the difference between me and other women, because I am miserable, no one should come to my house, even if I am financially provided because others do not feel good about me and my children, I do not feel a comfortable living.”

In all modern societies women especially heads of households are cared for especially by the government, but in Iran, it is different as the statistics above show most of them live in extreme poverty.

Under the regime’s rule, they have formally provided social support institutions such as the Relief and Welfare Committee and other supporting institutions such as social security to meet the needs of these women and their children, but since in this system, the major costs are flowing into the streams of repression, warmongering, and terrorism a very small share is allocated to support women heads of households.

According to Tejarat News, on October 25, 2021, the amount of 125 billion Tomans has been allocated, i.e., 35,000 Tomans (equivalent to $1.30) has been considered for each family.

Women heading households experience more stress and psychological problems due to having several different roles simultaneously (the role of mother, the role of the caretaker, the role of a factory worker, etc.)

If these women have supportive resources, they will face fewer problems and their vulnerability to psychological problems will be low, but if they are unable to provide economic support or even care for their children, or if there are no institutions in the community to provide support services for these women, they will have to solve all the problems by themselves because of their vulnerability. Psychological problems increase and become victims of mental disorders.

The percentage of poor women has steadily increased over the past two decades, especially women with young children who need permanent care. Because it must pay for its childcare, it may be financially crippled, because of not being able to cover all the high costs in Iran alone.

Most of them are working part-time therefore they do have not the chance to get higher ranks in their jobs and higher wages and are losing other economic benefits, such as pensions that full-time employees receive.

The percentage of absolute poverty of female-headed families is higher than that of male guardians. Absolute poverty in society are people whose income is less than the minimum livelihood income (providing basic needs) in fact, these people live below the poverty line.

Women without spouses face the problem of loneliness, isolation, rejection, and lack of understanding by others. Lack of social support is the most important factor in predicting the negative consequences of these women’s situations.

This group of women, due to their multiple roles and many responsibilities, often do not have extra time to establish social relations. This has gradually led to their exclusion from society and created many problems for them.

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