Most of the women who contracted COVID-19 worked in informal jobs, which make up 60 percent of all jobs in Iran. Over 196,000 people have died of the coronavirus in Iran, according to reports by the Iranian opposition (PMOI / MEK Iran) and (NCRI). The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported that 84% of women who work in the informal sector are employed in workplaces of just 1 to 4 workers.
#Iran Coronavirus Update
More than 196,000 people have died of the novel #coronavirus in 478 cities checkered across all of Iran's 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 2, 2021
Apart from their role in the informal job sector, women make up 80% of uninsured workers according to statistics from the Organization of Social Security Research in 2017. Also, there are many disabled women working in this sector too. This sort of status means they are not entitled to any legal support and their salaries are often not even paid by their employers.
The regime has stated that there are 3 million more people working between 2015 and 2019. This may or may not be true but most of these new jobs are in the most vulnerable sectors when it comes to exposure to COVID-19.
Most of the jobs are in the service industries such as retail, wholesale, repairs, transport, brokering, and the foodservice industry. Many are not full-time positions so there is little job security and they are not insured and Most of them haven’t signed any contracts. These women employed in this sector basically live hand to mouth and can barely pay their daily living expenses.
In the absence of any source of income, savings or any form of government support, Iranian workers, particularly female workers, live in deplorable conditions.https://t.co/KyTNLk9d1o#InternationalWorkersDay #Iran#HumanRights pic.twitter.com/bkMhFIByqM
— Women's Committee NCRI (@womenncri) April 30, 2020
(PMOI / MEK Iran) supporters from the city of Sari reported that the 47-year-old Maryam is the head of her household, which includes 3 children. Twenty years ago, she moved from Ardabil to Sari, the capital of Mazandaran Province in northern Iran. 20 years ago she has a domestic cleaning job and works 2 shifts daily. She does have a husband but he is undergoing treatment for a psychological disorder and cannot work. Maryam has to find 200,000 Tomans for his hospital treatment. She has asked for help from organizations like the Red Crescent, the Relief Committee, and the Welfare Organization but there has been no response to her requests.
Their home consists of 2 tiny rooms made of blocks and wood so she doesn’t have to pay any rent. She said because she lives in poverty she has no power over her life and her family’s. If she takes just one day off work there will be not even a piece of bread on the table to feed the family of 5.
Under the #Iran regime, #women workers are considered as cheap labor. https://t.co/DFT3dZHrO3#WeStand4FreeIran so that the mullah's barbaric & backwards economic, socio-political laws & institutions will be replaced by those that support #genderequali… pic.twitter.com/KIAaxoygAS
— IDW_IranBEL (@IDW_IranBEL) January 2, 2021
(PMOI / MEK Iran) supporters from the city of Urmia reported that the 50-year-old Massoumeh from Mahabad lives with her 2 daughters in Urmia, the capital of West Azerbaijan Province. She suffers from chronic backache and pains in her chest. Her husband died after suffering a stroke so she is the sole breadwinner. Her job is to clean houses which pays her monthly rent of 350,000 Tomans, but for the last 8 months she has not been able to pay up and she has as a result been repeatedly harassed by her landlord. She says the pandemic has directly affected their lives as the demand for cleaners has declined. The only way she has been able to survive is through help from her relatives as she has no savings.
(PMOI / MEK Iran) supporters from the city of Bushehr reported that the 30-year-old Mahtab is single and comes from a small city called Abpakhsh, near Bushehr in southern Iran. Her job is to iron clothes in a dress-making workshop. She has to help her mother pay her bills as her father is no longer present. To make matters worse she has poor hearing and her sister has damaged her spine so she is disabled. She said that her income isn’t even enough to pay just a tenth of their expenses.
Unfortunately, women are the last to be hired and the first to be fired in Iran so when there is an economic crisis they are the main victims. Basically, they are just cheap labor and have no rights at all.