Gender and reconciliation of work and family in Iran


  • The author wishes to thank the Institute of Labour and Social Security of Iran for financial support of this research project and Emeritus Professor Gill Scott for her valuable comments.

  • Responsibility for opinions expressed in signed articles rests solely with their authors, and publication does not constitute an endorsement by the ILO.


The problem of work–family balance has not yet been articulated in developing countries as it has been in the developed countries, though work–family tensions are growing in developing countries as well. Against this background, the author examines the distribution of female employment in Iran and considers its possible determinants – with female labour force participation a mere 12.5 per cent in 2006. Drawing on a survey of 800 highly educated mothers, she highlights the crucial need for better childcare facilities to improve women's work–family balance and labour force participation, arguing for a policy approach combining formal/informal childcare with working time regulation.