شنبه ۱ مهر ۱۳۹۶ تهران ۰۷:۴۱
WOMEN: Government Plans to Close Women’s Affairs Offices in Ministries
The government’s plan to close women’s affairs offices in ministries and other major government institutions met with strong criticism from women’s rights advocates. The government has cited budget problem as its reason for targeting women’s affairs offices for closure, but critics charge that the plan indicates a shift in attitudes towards women’s rights, which is a direct result of the sweeping victory of Islamic conservatives in recent municipal and Majles elections.
Head of the education ministry’s women’s affairs bureau Fatemeh Tondgooyan, whose office is the first of its kind to be eliminated, accused the management and plan organization of gross negligence of women’s issues.
In its seven years, the women’s affairs bureau in the education ministry has had major successes in improving the conditions for female students and teachers, Tondgooyan said in an interview with the state-run “students” news agency. Replacing the bureau with a women’s affairs advisor to the education minister would marginalize women’s affairs.
The elimination of women’s affairs offices, being carried out in the name of smaller government, is part of an effort to roll back the achievements of President Khatami’s government, director of the interior ministry’s women’s affairs division Fakhrosadat Mohtashamipour said.
The plan and management organization’s decision is against the principles of the fourth five-year development plan, Tehran MP Fatemeh Rahbar said, adding that the women in Majles will oppose the project.
Deputy Tehran provincial governor and women’s affairs advisor Zahra Bahramnezhad said by replacing women managers with men, they (conservatives) are trying to pretend that women are unimportant, but their actions are in direct contradiction to the country’s development plans approved by the Majles and ratified by the Supreme Leader. While in the rest of the world, government are creating whole ministries devoted to women’s affairs, in our country they are trying to close the small offices struggling for the benefit of women in ministries and government entities, she added.