A meeting on “Capacity Building and Optimizing Collaboration between Governmental and Non-governmental Organizations” was held by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare (MCLSW) in cooperation with UNFPA to study ways and means of empowering female-headed households.
Attending the meeting were a number of officials from MCLSW such as Dr. M.B. Tajeddin, the Director General of Support and Empowerment Office and Dr. A. Meidari, Deputy of Social Welfare, academics and other representatives from related organizations.
The meeting started with Dr. Tajeddin’s remarks on the importance of protecting female-headed households from social harms and empowering this group in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He explained: “Improving level of education among the female-headed households, developing supportive social networks to address their needs and motivating them through counseling are among ways of protecting this group of society.”
Female-headed households, due to their special conditions and particular position in the social structure, are prone to risks and social vulnerabilities. A majority of this group has a lower income and this by itself makes them culturally, socially and economically vulnerable. Also a lack of education and expertise among this group causes them to fall behind the process of development.
On mechanisms to further develop the cooperation between governmental and non-governmental organizations to address the issue and create unified policies to empower female-headed households Dr. Meidari stated: “We have to make use of the world’s experience. The cooperation among numerous responsible organizations must be based on integrity in order to address the issue as one body both in policy making as well as action.”
Dr. Meidari then introduced the concept of “the single window of social welfare” and explained: “Enhanced access level, enhanced integration, regional empowerment, facilitated coordination and synchronization are the main results of this concept.”
The meeting went on to study social vulnerabilities among female-headed households, sectoral and multi-sectoral dimensions, levels and phases of cooperation towards empowering them and further recognize capacities as well as challenges ahead.