International webinar
International webinar on “The Role of Women in Economic Development”

International webinar on “The Role of Women in Economic Development” was held in cooperation with the South African Embassy in Tehran with the aim of promoting cooperation between women cooperators in Iran and South Africa on June 1st, 2021.

In this online event, attended by the President of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives, Ambassador of South Africa in Tehran, President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), Deputy Minister of Small Business Development of South Africa, representative of ICA-AP, Head of women committee of ICC, Director of Cooperative promotion office of Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, as well as prominent cooperators from Iran and South Africa. The purpose of holding this meeting was to honor the position of women in society and their position in the economic development of both countries.

In this webinar, President of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives stated: “Today, one of the biggest goals of countries is to achieve sustainable economic development.”

Economic development, as one of the contexts for the growth and development of human societies, can be successful when it is done with the help and participation of all social groups and for all of them.

President of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives said: “Manpower is one of the most important and effective factors in the development of societies and women, as half of the world’s population, have a major role in development of society.”

He continued: “According to international statistics, a significant share of work in the world is done by women formally and informally. Therefore, if the potential talents of this section of society are considered, it can be considered as one of the largest sources of investment for developing countries. Therefore, women with their wide participation in various economic sectors can move the country’s economy and play an active and major role in developing the economy and advancing the goals of society.

Mr. Bahman Abdollahi acknowledged that the presence of women in the economy and labor market will have various consequences, including increasing the level of family income, reducing the burden of dependence, increasing productivity and ultimately improving the level of welfare of individuals in society.

President of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives noted: In our country, Iran, according to official statistics, in the years 2013 to 2019, the participation rate of women increased from 12.4% to 15.5%, which indicates an increase in women’s participation in the labor market. Although the participation rate has increased over the years, it should be noted that this figure is still much lower than the global average. This low participation rate with a much higher unemployment rate for women than men may be interpreted as the existence of more limited job opportunities for women in the Iranian labor market.

Also in this event, the results and achievements of the recent negotiations between women cooperators and entrepreneurs of the two countries were presented in order to identify areas of joint cooperation and develop interactions in the fields of handicrafts, tourism, agriculture, health and education.

It is worth mentioning that the close cooperation between Iran Chamber Cooperatives and Embassy of South Africa began in 2018 and the present webinar was their second joint international event in the field of women with the aim of strengthening their position in the economic and social fields.