Women Attacked and Arrested During 3-Day Protest by Tehran Teachers “Officers beat and arrested three teachers. But the teachers continued their protests and chants,” reported one of the protest’s participants. The teachers in the Literacy Movement have worked for years; some have as many as 10 years of teaching experience. However, since last year, they have been asked to take teachers’ university entrance exams to be officially hired. Iran’s Council of Retirees issued the following statement in support of the 3-day protests by teachers: “These teachers have been teaching and training students for years. They have had to live with meager wages, substandard facilities, and minimal benefits. They have not even enjoyed job security. Every year, more than in the prior year, the teachers worry about job security and earning a decent living. Although these teachers have years of teaching experience and are obviously eligible for employment, they are still in limbo while waiting to be hired by the Ministry of Education.” Unfortunately, under the Mullahs’ rule in Iran, living conditions for teachers – more than 50% of whom are women – are far below acceptable standards. Iranian teachers must contend with remaining unpaid for months; suffering unfair wage adjustments given the rising cost of living; and having no medical insurance. Instead of being able to focus on providing a good education for their students, teachers in Iran are preoccupied with making ends meet.
“Some women heads of household often live in ruins, dilapidated buildings, underground holes, and water wells, mostly because they are homeless. Some of those who live in slums or tents do not have proper accommodation,” said Mohammad-Reza Mahboubfar, a social researcher, in a statement to state-run media (The state-run website Etemad Online – June 22, 2020).
“The number of women heads of household in the country has also increased. These people are facing many problems due to homelessness and inflation, and lack of basic necessities such as jobs and housing. Some of these women are forced to emigrate to the suburbs where they are vulnerable to various social ailments such as violence, addiction, (forcing them into) selling their babies and prostitution. They are deprived of social support from official institutions. Even among those who have “decent” jobs, some women heads of household live below the poverty line and are deprived of minimum living standards,” Mahboubfar added.
At least 60 percent of Tehran’s population live in the slums and shanty towns
Referring to the shocking increase in the population of Iranians who live in slums and shanty towns, Mahboubfar said, “It was estimated in the past that there were about 25 million residing in the slums, but today that number has risen to 38 million. We can even say that population of slum dwellers in Tehran has increased by 60%.”
According to the social researcher, “Before the Coronavirus, the poverty line was 8 million Tomans… Most slum dwellers, day laborers, seasonal workers, peddlers, and so on, have lost 70 to 80 percent of their salaries. It is natural that they go to the city outskirts to seek housing and shelter. Part of the city outskirts consists of slums; the other part consists of tents or other deficient shelters. Homeless people have built makeshift, unsanitary settlements that generate crime.”
“Political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian also suffers from asthma. Due to her infection with the Coronavirus, she coughs constantly, and her lung condition has deteriorated. After her infection with the Covid-19 was confirmed, she had a chest X-ray and was immediately returned to the quarantine ward of Qarchak Prison”, an informed source said about Zainab’s illness.
Sanitary conditions in the quarantine ward are horrible. This ward has even fewer facilities than other parts of the prison.
A specialist physician had previously told Zeinab Jalalian: “She needs to recover in a stress-free environment with good hygiene and healthy food as well as being under doctors’ supervision. Otherwise, there is a possibility of irreparable damage to her respiratory system.”
The situation in Qarchak prison is reported to be very serious. Women infected with the Covid-19 have been transferred to a place called the Prison Club, which is unsanitary and without proper ventilation. They are being held there without medical care, treatment, or food.