1.1.Introduction: world average of 45% and only

1.1.Introduction:

The gender gap in workplace represents an important issue that has
a significant effect on the world’s’ economy. Women are more than half of the
world workforce, and female university graduates are more than Male graduates
(Omran, Alizadeh and Esmaeeli, 2015). Men have more opportunities for
employment and promotions than women according to (Table 1). Thus, women are
suffering from lack of opportunities in the workplace, and that contributes to
a fall in the world economy. Therefore, giving women more opportunities in the
workplace will improve Iran and lead it to the direction of gender equality
where women and men can participate fully, develop, and create a sustainable
country.

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(Olson and Becker, 1983)

1.2.Aims

This recommendation report aims to make a comparison between two
suggested intervention methods for decreasing gender gap in the workplace in
the Islamic Republic of Iran while considering equal opportunities and
promotions for both genders. The Islamic Republic of Iran was ranked the 139
out of 144 countries in the global gender gap ranking according to (World
economic forum, 2016) Thus; the gender gap in Iran is huge. A recommendation
will be made after careful analysis of the suggested methods with regards to
public acceptance and effectiveness.

 

 

2.Background:

The most recent statistic shows that the female share of the
labour force is less than 20%, noticeably below the world average of 45% and
only 3.5 million Iranian women are salaried workers, in comparison with 23.5
million Iranian men (Middle East Institute, 2018). The Iranian women only
occupy 5.8% in the parliament, which shows that they are extremely
underrepresented in the decision-making process. This is a problem because as a
result of women not getting treated equally in the workplace women don’t have
enough opportunities for employment and their chances in promotions are low due
to their difference in gender. (Burkova, 2017) stated that women in Iran are
diminished in leading positions and private sector directors, even though
Iranian women’s have shown great achievements in higher education and have
shown their abilities this demonstrates their capacity and dedication to be
equal partners in building a better country, but discriminatory laws are
holding them back (Human Rights Watch, 2018).

In addition to this, the education of Muslim women is more
difficult to accept in societies like the Islamic Republic of Iran, where women
are restricted from pursuing the education in certain fields like science,
math, engineering (Shahidian, 2018). This is a problem due to the fact that
Iran will never be able to be a developed country if this does not change, but
by teaching them STEM subjects this will help them and appoint them with the
latest knowledge and new skills in tough fields which will develop Iran into a
rapid change and modernization.

    

 

3.Options

3.1 Promote females to study STEM subjects and
introduce more programs:

A first option the Iranian government can force is to promote
girls into a higher level of education this will result in the increase in
women’s entitlement in the workplace with a more ensured and powerful position
in the near future by encouraging them to study STEM subjects such as science,
math, and engineering.

 

3.2 Gender Quotas:

A second option the Iranian government can offer is to put out
Gender Quotas. According to (EIGE, 2018) gender quotas is a legislation that
was defined as equalising job progression and promotions by raising the number
of places on boards for women. Gender quotas take a good advantage of women’s
abilities by increasing their chances to work in boards.

 

4.Requirements:

4.1 Effectiveness:

The first criteria for analysing the options is effectiveness.
Effectiveness is described as accomplishing a purpose and target to come to a
conclusion over an issue. Effectiveness is considerable as a result of solving
a problem in a quick, immediate way. In this situation, Effectiveness is also
important to the government to pass a law in an efficient, and productive way.

 

4.2 Public Acceptance:

The second criteria for analysis of options will be Public
acceptance. Public acceptance is described as the passive or active approval of
the people and citizens of an idea or opinion. Any changes that are made but
with the acceptance of the community. Public acceptance is important for the
sake of the government when publicly announcing a new law they must persuade a
lot of its citizens to come to terms with its new big idea. Thus, public
acceptance is a significant factor in any method owing to the fact that if
people refused the idea it wouldn’t have an impact on the problem (Kickhöfer,
2008).

5. Comparison:

 

5.1 Effectiveness:

Based on the criteria of Effectiveness, Iranian government offering
to put out Gender Quotas is the preferred option. Gender quotas rely mostly on
its effectiveness to be used within the political system by countries to
achieve equal representation by both female and male legislators in the
government (Wikigender.org, 2018). In 2011 the number of women in Iran in the
parliament was total of 8 women, leaving the percentage with 3%. Not only is it
low in the parliament but in addition to that the number of women in the
ministerial positions was even lower in 2010 with only 1, and the percentage of
women in ministerial positions being 3% (Unicef.org, 2018). Quotas have now
been achieved successfully in many other different countries for instance in
2003 Norway became the first country in the world to establish a gender quota
where they demanded 500 firms, including 175 firms listed to raise the number
of women on their boards to 40% (U.S., 2018). This caused a chaos in the
Norwegian business community, as a result of that there was a penalty for the
ones who were not following orders. One of the penalties was if a company did
not obey the rules, it would be shut down. Not only did this lead to a change
in Norway but in fact in other countries as well including Italy, the
Netherlands and Spain they followed with this conclusion which helped women
from reaching top business positions. In addition to that in Ireland, the first
election that was held in 2011 started with 115 women applicants, and the
political parties later had to put a decision that 30% gender quota for the applicants
or they have their state funding cut by half. Compared to the 15% elected in
2011 now more than 22% of TDs in the 32nd Dáil will be female (The Irish Times,
2018). Despite the merits of promoting females to study STEM subjects
motivating young girls to study difficult subject would lead them into the
industry of education which will also help the gap Iran presently is facing.
However this preferred option is still best in terms of reducing gender
inequality in workplace due to the fact that gender quotas would help eradicate
discrimination and will start giving new opportunities for women to work
outside of their expectations, and if

Iran made this step it will open doors for many women in the
workplace to reach much higher positions.

5.2 Public Acceptance:

Based on the criteria of Public acceptance, promoting females to
study STEM subjects and is the preferred option. By the reason of women
representing over half of the world’s population (Data The World Bank, 2018).
Roughly half of Iran’s student population has been women, however, women in
Iran still face gender inequality but some still try to break out of
traditional gender roles and start their education. The high number of female
students is a threat to Iran’s male social order that even some universities
had aimed to “de-feminize” education meaning not include women in their circle
of education. In 2012, 33 public universities banned women from programs in 77
academic fields, along with engineering, accounting, and chemistry, in addition
to that they also requested to limit women’s options for education inside Iran (WENR,
2018). The advantage of promoting women into STEM education and careers moves
Iran to the right path of fixing the gender equality in education where they
all can cooperate equally, and create a developed country. One of the main
reason there is a gender inequality is because there are historical attitudes
concerning the education of girls and by providing these programs this will
also help the cultural idea of girls improvement and teaching in many core
subjects (Everyculture.com, 2018). A great example is the Athena Swan program
for instance, a UK national scheme which is a possible resource for helping
women enter, guide, and advance women’s careers in the STEM fields such as
science, engineering, technology, math, in higher education (Equality Challenge
Unit, 2018). On October 2017 the success rate on the bronze award with 53%,
silver award with 41.7%, and the gold award with 24.1%. And now currently
holding a total of  399 bronze, 178 silver, and 10 gold award (Equality
Challenge Unit, 2018). Even though it started with ten members the Athena Swan
had made a progressing impact and is in the movement with advancing to build a
culture where everyone can evolve through their careers. Despite the merits of
the Iranian government putting out Gender Quotas, they are also useful for
public acceptance as a result to that Quotas are enforced in order to correct a
previous gender imbalance in different areas and at different levels if the
majority of the people do not agree with a new idea. They also promote women to
equal access in training opportunities or jobs (EIGE, 2018). However this
preferred option is still best in terms of reducing gender inequality in the
workplace in a civil way by creating movements, and building up small programs
this will help encourage and motivate the women in Iran instead of decreasing
their abilities in education. By promoting gender equality and empowering these
young girls and women through their education by studying these STEM subjects
that can make a big impact not only to the women but also by coming together as
one they will help make for a more developed country and a balance of level of
education for both men and women.

 

6. Conclusion:

Enforcing gender quotas will encourage putting an end
to discrimination and will start giving new opportunities for women to
work in higher workplace positions.
Quotas should be enforced in order to balance the
different areas and at different levels of workplace areas, this will also
be a good advantage of women’s abilities by increasing their chances to
work.
Norway became the first country in the world to
establish a gender quota followed by other countries such as Italy, the
Netherlands and Spain. This helped the equality of gender roles in
commanding, controlling positions.
33 public universities banned women in Iran from
programs in 77 academic fields.

 

7. Recommendation:

Based on the analysis conducted in this report, enforcing gender
quotas in Iran is the preferred option.

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