Iran Bars Single Women from Working in Gas Field

Monday 28 December 2009

View online : AFP

TEHRAN — Iran has barred single women from working for a state firm that operates a huge gas field and petrochemical plants on the shores of the Gulf, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.

"Oil Minister (Masoud Mirkazemi) has emphasised that single women should not be present in Assalouyeh," the deputy director of the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Company, Pirouz Mousavi, said.
Mousavi did not elaborate on whether any women had yet been laid off as a result of the order.

More than 18 months ago, Iranian newspapers carried an instruction by the company requiring that "single employees start creating a family."
"As being married is one of the criteria of employment, we are announcing for the last time that all female and male colleagues have until September 21 to go ahead with this important and moral religious duty," the instruction said.
As in the oil and gas industry through much of the world, most Iranians working in the hydrocarbons sector are single males.

Sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal in Iran, for the most part a traditional society where young people are normally encouraged by their families to marry in their 20s and swiftly bear children.

Since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005, there has been a crackdown on all behaviour regarded as un-Islamic, and dress codes and Muslim mores have again been strictly enforced.


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