Peddler Women /Maryam Mohammadi

The problem of living and providing the frightening expenses has afflicted more than 90 percent of people every day but the conditions of women are far more regretful. Every now and then among the news we see headlines like: ‘the most important characteristic of unemployment in Iran is the high rate of unemployment of women, the young, and the educated people. The rate of unemployment is 19.2 percent for the women, 20.9 percent for the young, 43.1 percent for young women, and for the young graduates 43.1 percent, and university graduates between 36 and 48 percent. Or 57 percent of men and 10.7 percent of women are working.’

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Behind these lifeless figures of the statistics the lives of women are hidden, women who must fight difficulties like high costs, lack of home, and astounding expenses. And for women having children the expenses of education and taking care of children are added while there are no social services such as assistances for housing, health care, and medical treatments, and education. The result is suicides of women and even very young students. Resorting to jobs without any reputation or safety by women is the reason that we see the increasing numbers of women and children peddlers in crowded centers like subway stations.

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Although the behavior of people with peddlers is humane, what really makes the tragedy of women’s lives more complex is that the solution which the authorities found for this problem is forcible and wrathful treatment with the peddlers and trying to wipe the appearance of the problem out in any way instead of solving the problem of unemployment and welfare by protecting laws but by sending lots of police to subway stations and installing advertising billboards with the content of comparing peddling with a contagious disease, while it is the peddlers who should claim damage since they lack salary and fringe benefits, insurance, retirement pensions and so on. Women who are disreputed this way are exposed to dangers like wrath and sexual harassments because they must always escape into the crowd and there is no legal organ to protect these women against encroachment and sexual aggressions which makes their lives more painful.

The only way and the only human solution to reform these conditions is providing suitable jobs or unemployment insurance payments for the people who are seeking jobs in order to stop witnessing tragic suicides of peddlers and trampling their rights and dignity to obtain the least and basic needs of life.