Thursday, August 30, 2007

Iran: Rapid Rise in Women's Labor Force Participation

You'd never guess it from the Western media's coverage, even if you looked at the farthest left end of it, but women of Iran have made great advances in the labor force, making the Islamic Republic of Iran among the most feminist nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

According to the latest report of the World Bank, "In Iran, women’s participation in the labor force rose from 33 to 41 percent in five years, a phenomenal leap. In 1990, participation rates for women in Iran were below MENA average; by 2005, they were the third-highest in the region. . . . In Iran, women made up a majority of all additional entrants to the labor market" (The World Bank, 2007 Economic Developments & Prospects: Job Creation in an Era of High Growth, pp. xvii, 34). See, also, "Table 2.2: Women’s Participation in the Labor force: Rising Rapidly" on p. 33 and the graph "Women as Share of Labor Force in 2000 vs. Women’s Share of Additional Entrants to Labor Force in 2000–05" on p. 34 of the World Bank Report.

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