MEK: Anti-Women Bill Passes Iran Parliament
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that in the Iranian parliament, the vast majority of MPs are men, with women making up only 5.7% of the chamber. Sadly, those few women mainly come from the faction controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, so they are even less inclined to do anything to benefit their fellow women.
The Population Growth and Family Support Plan
Instead, they’ll happily sign off on sexist bills like the Population Growth and Family Support Plan, which is designed to keep women at home raising children in order to boost the birth rate above 2.5 per woman.
In fact, the Presidium of the Parliamentary Health Commission member Fatemeh Mohammad Beigi said this bill, which aims to keep young women too busy with childcare to help organize protests that will bring down the regime, was “among the best laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran in history”.
So, given the state of the economy, the pandemic, and the general lack of social care programs in Iran, how are people supposed to raise more children when lives are hard enough for those already born?
Well, the bill does make certain promises that might sound alluring to young couples who want three kids in quick succession, but it’s worth remembering that the regime has spent 42 years failing to keep its promises. (That’s why there are so many protests against them, to begin with.)
The regime vows that families will be allowed to use government facilities for housing or land following the birth of a third child, which sounds great until you hear that there is already a shortage of 5 million housing units, according to Home Builders Association Secretary Farshid Pourhajat. In fact, the likelihood is that this will require money to be siphoned off from low-income families, even as the country struggles to afford rent.
The bill also underlines that from the third child onwards, Iranians can enjoy lower insurance premiums, water, electricity, and gas bills, tariffs, and taxes as well as increased stimulus payments, subsidies, food and health support packages, and wages.
For mothers, they will supposedly benefit from longer maternity leave, job security throughout their pregnancy and while on leave, and early retirement. But this is at odds with the regime past and present. Plus, although they promise this better working arrangement for mothers, the regime does want to stop women from working through this bill.
Encouraging a higher birth rate
Of course, encouraging a higher birth rate with incentives, even if the already lackluster safety net will be robbed, as a result, is one thing. Discouraging anything that may keep the birthrate steady or decrease it, is another.
The plan tells media outlets and relevant agencies that they shouldn’t broadcast programs that conflict with this one tasks the Islamic Development Organization with monitoring the behavior of matchmaking institutions, and gives all security agencies powers to “forcibly prevent abortion” and monitor all sales of abortifacients.
Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, the regime cannot pass a bill to prevent violence against women that actually protects women, even after eight years of limbo.