Iran’s Social Security Office reports that a review of an 18-month period shows that of the 145,000 women who took six months off work after giving birth, 47,000 lost their jobs after returning to work.
In an interview with ISNA, a Social Security spokesman Mohammad Hasanzeda said: “In this employment market, where there are many people with top qualifications willing to work for lower wages, an increase in maternity leave from six months to nine will lead to more women losing their jobs further down the line.”
The Iranian government is reviewing a plan to increase maternity leave to nine months.
Hasanzeda added that a nine-month maternity leave would cost 320 billion toumans, and no such budget has been set aside.
The plan to lengthen the maternity leave is in line with the Iranian government’s latest view on population control. Iran’s Supreme Leader recently said the country’s previous efforts to limit the population were in error and he called for policies to promote childbirth.
However, women’s rights activists are concerned that a longer maternity leave will eventually translate into more women losing their jobs.