Women’s rights for economic participation according to the international treaties: A comparative analysis of Iranian and Saudi Arabian compliance

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Historical Background

This paper aims to offer an overview of the compliance with international agreements concerning women’s rights in the workplace in the Middle East. The focus here is on Saudi Arabia and Iran, two important players in the Middle East with the top gross national products (GNP) among Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, and nations with significant influence in neighbouring countries (World Bank, 2015).[1] The combined population of both countries is around 111 million people and they rank among the five most populous MENA countries. Our exploratory investigation analysed UN treaties and documents regarding women’s rights and how these laws are regarded to ensure equal gender participation in the economies of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Over recent decades, the achievement of material development has been one of the most important concerns of populations and nations. For economic agents like industrial firms and service providers, economic success understood in terms of profits is the main goal. However, for women, economic objectives are not the only ones that matter. The recognition of gender equality as well as their capabilities in the workplace remains one of the main objectives, something that is also crucial to society as a whole. In the present economic environment, guided by self-interest, existing rules, institutions, structures and processes usually do not serve the common good, so it is essential to question the basis of this social order so as to stop the continuous injustices and realise the common identity that all humans share regardeless of gender, religion or anything else.[2]

A crucial point for the present moment is the recognition that women face a series of disadvantages in the business environment ‘on virtually every indicator in the world of work — earnings, quality of employment, employment status, participation’. An International Labour Organization (ILO) analysis of 83 countries shows that women in paid work earn on average between 10 and 30 per cent less than men.[3] This problem is worse when looking at MENA countries. Gaps are particularly acute given that they are affected by ‘the cumulative effects of multiple legal constraints’.[4]

From Norms to Guiding Principles

International laws regarding women are applicable as any other human rights laws. Every person, industry, company, service provider and civil society has the responsibility to endorse them. The primary responsibility for the population’s rights always lies with the state, which bears the obligation to provide judicial institutions that ensure respect for the law. Nonetheless, civil society cannot simply ignore human rights. As the Business & Human Rights Centre recalls, the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls on “every individual and every organ of society” to promote and respect human rights’.[5]

A large number of treaties and agreements have been signed and not fulfilled, sometimes because governments sign them pro forma, others because they simply ignore the requirements of a treaty, or even due to economic reasons. In addition, if an agreement was signed in international fora, often compliance is not mandatory according to the domestic political situation.[6]

Despite these challenges, over the years there have been great advancements in the development of laws concerning women’s rights, several of them providing a framework for gender equality in the job market. In 1945, the United Nations Charter (which includes the pillars of human rights principles) was signed and three years later, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. In 1953 nations came to an agreement on the Convention on the Political Rights of Women and, in 1966, the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights.[7]

Since then, a series of conventions regarding specific issues have come into force. In 1979 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was approved, the most important convention on the subject.[8]Furthermore, in the following years several resolutions, declarations, and recommendations, such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995),[9] were also signed to reinforce the provisions of the CEDAW. In such a context of minutes, resolutions and declarations, access to rights and respect for them were improved, but the situation still remains far from ideal. It is possible to find some progress on the application of the proposals of the Beijing Declaration, such as diminishing the pay gap and respecting more widely the need for maternity protection, but the rights guaranteed are still far from ideal.[10]

There has been an ongoing debate about the responsibility of the business sector around issue of human rights, but the 1990s saw an increase in pressure by civil society and NGOs. This context is summarised in a series of draft norms about the responsibility of companies to respect and uphold human rights standards. It claims that companies share the same duties as states ‘to promote, secure the fulfilment of, respect, ensure respect of, and protect human rights,’ in their ‘spheres of influence’.[11] These draft documents generated strong disagreement, with vehement opposition from some companies that created difficulties for the approval of the document at the UN. Nevertheless, it brought about the appointment of John Ruggie as the UN Special Representative on the issue with the objective to make clearer the framework for companies, states and others, since there remained confusion around each one’s duties.[12]

As a result of Ruggie's engagement, in 2008 a substantive policy on this issue was adopted for the first time by the UN. The Special Representative presented a framework called The UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework for Business and Human Rights which had three pillars.[13] The first is the state's primary duty to ensure respect for human rights through policies, regulation and adjudications. The second, the responsibility of the corporate sector to respect human rights, avoiding their infringement and addressing adverse impacts that might occur. Third, victims should have greater access to effective remedies, both judicial and non-judicial, whenever needed.[14]

Given that the main subjects of international law are states, problems occur when governments do not provide adequate policies and regulations to ensure respect for human rights. The simple affirmation in the UN charter about the equal rights of men and women should, by itself, be enough to make it a contractual obligation on all members of the United Nations, not as something optional, but a binding contract which must be fulfilled for the adequate functioning of the international system.

The Charter of the UN states that it acts to ‘reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small...’, and mentions again the compromise with equality in articles 1, 8, 13, 55 and 76. There is also reference to those rights in many documents signed by member states.[15] Looking at those treaties, the majority of them deal with political, economic or social aspects that at least ‘remember’ or ‘reaffirm’ the importance of the equal treatment of women and men.

The presence of this principle in several treaties shows the importance of it, and the Commission on the Status of Women clarifies the meaning of these words through the formulation of specific conventions and declarations, such as the Convention on the Political Rights of Women and the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1967, as well as the CEDAW in 1979 and the Beijing Declaration in 1995.

Policy Commitment of Saudi Arabia and Iran

There are some international agreements by which Saudi Arabia and Iran compromised themselves to take on board some responsibilities regarding women’s rights. To the most important of these accords, the countries usually made reservations, arguing that certain components in the Conventions were in nonconformity with national Islamic law, mentioning objections to central issues on women’s rights and their liberties.

Iran signed and ratified the three main instruments that sought to ensure human rights: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Concerning workplace rights, the country also signed the Constitution of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (1979) and, within the ILO, ratified the Employment Policy Convention (1964), the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958), the Equal Remuneration Convention (1951) and the Maritime Labour Convention (2006). Nevertheless, the most important agreement on the issue, the CEDAW, was not signed by Iran. Additionally, only two other countries failed to sign it: Sudan and Somalia.

Unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia did not sign any of these three main human rights instruments. However, the country signed and ratified the Constitution of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (1979) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979). Within the ILO, the country ratified the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958) and the Equal Remuneration Convention (1951).

While a comprehensive analysis could fill numerous pages on this issue, in summary, when signing these treaties, both countries agreed to very important principles, even if through different treaties, such as:

  1. Recognising that women are equal to men, including concerning economic rights.

  2. Pledging to promote respect for fundamental freedoms.

  3. Agreeing that women have the right to work and pledging to safeguard this right.

  4. Agreeing that women have the right to participate in industrialisation.

  5. Agreeing that women have the right to freely participate in economic life (meaning also, not requiring the authorisation of a male counterpart, such as her husband or guardian).

  6. Agreeing that national development must improve the standard of women’s lives.

  7. Agreeing to equal remuneration for women and men in equal functions.

  8. Agreeing that women must be recognised as equal to men in a hiring or promotion opportunity, with judgement being made solely on the basis of merit.

  9. Agreeing to take all necessary measures, either legislative or in wider society, to ensure all of the above.

Analysing the treaties and resolutions signed by the two most important MENA economies, we can see that Saudi Arabia signed and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) which is the most central and important document on the issue.[16] It is an instrument designed to bring about equality of gender in all areas, recognising that 'extensive discrimination against women continues to exist' which 'violates the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity'. Also, the CEDAW quotes 'the principle of the inadmissibility of discrimination and proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, including distinction based on sex'. At this Convention, Saudi Arabia also pledged to take all measures needed to promote and safeguard women’s rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as agreed to ensure all women have 'the right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings'.

On the other hand, more than a decade before the Islamic Revolution, in 1968, Iran signed and ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), in which it agreed to (Article 3) ‘ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant’, (article 6, paragraph 1), ‘recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right’, [article 7. (a)(i)] ‘pair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work’, agreed to ensure ‘equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniority and competence’, [article 10, paragraph 2] ‘special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after childbirth. During such periods working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits’ (United Nations, 1967).

Iran also signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, agreeing that ‘all peoples have the right (...)[to] freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development’, (article 2, paragraph 1) ‘each state party undertakes to respect and to ensure the rights of the Covenant without any distinction, to all individuals’, (article 2, paragraph 2) ‘undertakes to take the necessary steps, (...) to adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant’, (article 3) ‘to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)’.

Within the International Labour Organisation, both countries signed the Discrimination Convention (1958) that condemns any discrimination or preference on the basis of sex. It also requests that nations create policies for the promotion of equal treatment and opportunities in employment. Regarding the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (1979), both nations agreed to ‘include the appropriate changes which would ensure the just and effective participation of all peoples in the industrialization of their countries’, which clearly includes women in the process.[17]

On the question of the right to equal remuneration for women and men in equal functions, in addition to Article 7.(a)(i) of the ICESCR outlined above, Iran also signed the Equal Remuneration Convention (1951), which defends the equal remuneration for men and women when exercising ‘work of equal value’. On the other hand, in the CEDAW, Saudi Arabia agreed to ensure ‘the right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work’.

Finally, an important mechanism for the advancement of women’s rights, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted by the Iranian government. This declaration asks for measures to be taken ‘to ensure women’s (...) equal access to economic resources and social services, including land, credit, science and technology, vocational training, information, communication, markets, education and the right to inheritance’. It also asks for the elimination of ‘occupational segregation and wage inequality and creating a flexible work environment that facilitates the restructuring of work patterns and the sharing of family responsibilities’.[18]

The current situation and next steps for the improvement of women’s economic participation

Looking at the numbers, we cannot see in either Iran or Saudi Arabia a considerable presence of women in business, general commerce or big companies, even though the number has improved slightly in recent years. According to the World Bank, women’s labour force participation (ages 15–64) worldwide over the last two decades has slightly decreased, declining from 57 to 55 per cent globally.[19] In MENA countries, participation is as low as 25 per cent. Specifically in Saudi Arabia and Iran the numbers are even more worrisome. The most recent statistics show that the percentage of women in the work force improved in the last few decades, reaching 21% in Saudi Arabia, while in Iran the percentage stagnated at around 17%.

Table 1: Saudi Arabia labour force participation by gender (% of population aged 15-64)

Saudi Arabia

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

male (%)

78

77

76

74

73

74

74

74

74

74

female (%)

16

16

16

16

17

16

16

16

16

17

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2013

2014

 

male (%)

74

74

75

75

75

75

75

76

78

 

female (%)

18

18

18

18

17

18

18

18

20

 

Source: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.MA.ZS/countries/SA

Table 2: Iran gender labour force participation (% of population in the ages 15-64)

Iran

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

male (%)

76

75

74

74

74

74

74

74

74

74

female (%)

10

11

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2013

2014

 

male (%)

74

73

72

70

71

72

73

73

74

 

female (%)

19

19

18

15

16

16

16

16

17

 

Source: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.MA.ZS/countries/SA

To deal with these challenges, ‘Reforms should focus on removing restrictions to women’s work in labour and employment; removing unequal status provisions, such as head-of-household provisions, in family law; allowing and encouraging women’s ownership and joint-titling of land; enforcing equitable inheritance laws; and applying non-discrimination principles to customary laws. Most countries have made significant progress toward more equitable laws over recent decades, but there has been less progress in some regions, notably in the Middle East and North Africa and in South Asia’[20]

Looking to Saudi Arabia and Iran, there is low participation and huge challenges for women in the workplace. Despite all the agreements and recommendations by UN agencies, women are still in a significantly unequal position, not only in government, but also in companies.

In the specific case of Saudi Arabia, the last report of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action described considerable progress in women’s status in Saudi Arabia and an impressive series of good indicators.[21] There are also some improvements in the employment category – as some other reports show – like easier access to jobs in stores specialising in women’s products. On the other hand, there are reports showing the lack of opportunities and rights experienced by Saudi women, like legal barriers to being saleswomen or being hired by oil companies.[22]

However, despite Saudi’s first election for local municipalities, held historically under universal suffrage in 2015, several improvements are still needed.[23] Access to loans, equal payment, equal access to job opportunities, the freedom to choose what kind of work is desired and equal access to education are some of these challenges. In addition, the idea of Mahram, or the legal guardianship of women by a male, affects their free will to search for an independent career path. Furthermore, most workplaces are segregated by gender, which makes it difficult to access certain sectors and jobs. Regarding this challenge, it is important to put into practice previous promises such as the one made in 2010. In that year, ‘the King and some high-ranking Saudi officials had been supporting the right of women to work and to access business opportunities. The Saudi Council of Ministers adopted a resolution requiring all Government agencies that provided services related to women to establish women’s sections, within one year’.[24]

In 2013 the Saudi government confirmed that ‘the Ministry of Labour has issued a number of decisions designed to accelerate the recruitment of women into various private sector spheres (including women’s shops, retailing and factories). In conjunction with the Human Resources Development Fund, it has also introduced programmes to promote women’s employment, including in those spheres’.[25] Nevertheless, these decisions still keep women out of several economic sectors, and does not yet represent gender equality.

In Iran, the government has affirmed its compromise on human rights, bringing in a National Strategic Action Plan on Human Rights, which includes a ‘Comprehensive Women’s Rights Protection and Empowerment Program’ (UN Human Rights Council, 2014b). The same document mentions government engagement to improve women’s participation in the economy. However, there is a long path ahead that demands action not only from the government, but also from companies and the latter can be affected by several discriminatory practices that exist in Iranian law.

As an example, for an Iranian woman executive in a company, it is very difficult to get permission to travel. A married woman could not obtain a passport or leave the country without her husband’s written permission. Even more worrisome are the specific policies that discriminate against women in economic participation. As quoted by UN Human Rights Council,

“The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran noted gender-based disparities in economic participation and political empowerment: unsuccessful legislative attempts to reinforce polygamy and reduce work hours for women, and current policy proposals that discriminated against women in education had threatened recent achievements in education for women”[26].

According to the Human Rights Watch World Report of 2015, last year more discriminatory policies were announced in Iran, restricting access to certain jobs in some public spaces. While the government rhetoric is of improvement in women’s rights, as stated in April 2015 by President Rouhani, these restrictive measures have the exact opposite effect. [27]

In such a context, it is important to develop a sense of urgency with respect to gender policies in Iran. The worrying numbers of women participating in the economy – today around only 17% of the workforce, 7% behind the MENA countries’ average – is far from the potential of the Iranian economy and society. Such a significant gap must be treated with effective policies to promote an attractive environment for companies to hire women in all sectors of the economy. Moreover, overcoming discriminatory practices will probably contribute to ending Iranian economic stagnation, putting a large amount of talented human resources in the service of the nation.

In the 68th plenary meeting of the General Assembly of the UN in December 2014, the UN reminded members of ‘the importance of adherence to the rule of law at the national level and the need to strengthen support to Member States, upon their request, in the domestic implementation of their respective international obligations’. It also said that an ‘implementation of the rule of law at both the national and international levels and its solemn commitment to an international order based on the rule of law and international law, which, together with the principles of justice, is essential for peaceful coexistence and cooperation among States’.[28]

It is important to remind Iran and Saudi Arabia that these international principles of respect and equality for women and all the laws in the subject, are included in the obligation of companies to ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ anywhere they are, so all the principles mentioned above in the treaties are to be respected or requested to them. Women have their natural rights violated and are prevented from contributing to their community, as well as to the development of both the nation and the companies for which they work. When seeking economic growth, reduction of poverty and social development, women have to be involved, which is entirely in accordance with the ILO, once the job standards are directly associated to poverty and discrimination, for development and job standards are mutually reinforcing forces. Denying women access to work does not bring to any nation or enterprise the welfare they aspire, it is actually the opposite.

As stated by the World Bank, ‘women’s economic empowerment is also smart economics, as it is associated with reduced poverty, faster growth, and better economic, health, and educational outcomes for the next generation’, ‘improving child health and education, enhancing poverty reduction, and catalysing productivity’. Finally, ‘closing these gaps, while working to stimulate job creation more broadly, is a prerequisite for ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity’. For sure, these are the aspirations of the Saudi and Iranian people which the governments and companies of those countries have the responsibility to deliver.[29]



[1] Halliday, F., 2005. The Middle East in International Relations: power, politics and ideology. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. World Bank Group, 2015. Women, Business and the Law: Iran. http://wbl.worldbank.org/data/exploreeconomies/iran-islamic-rep/2015#wbl_gj

World Bank Group, 2015. Women, Business and the Law: Saudi Arabia.: http://wbl.worldbank.org/data/exploreeconomies/saudi-arabia/2015#wbl_bc

World Bank, 2015. Labor force participation rate. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.MA.ZS/countries/SA?display=default

[2] ISGP—Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, 2009. Advancing Toward the Equality of Women and Men. New York: ISGP.

[3] ILO – International Labour Organization, 2014. Global Employment Trend 2014: Risk of jobless recovery? International Labour Office, Geneva.

[4] World Bank Group, Gender at Work: A companion to the World Development Report on Jobs, World Development Bank, 2013, http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/Gender/GenderAtWork_web.pdf

[5] BHRRC—Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 2015. Business & Human Rights: A brief introduction, Business & Human Rights Centre. http://www.business-humanrights.org/en/business-human-rights-a-brief-introduction

[6] ibid

[7] United Nations, International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. 1966, https://treaties.un.org/doc/Treaties/1976/01/19760103%2009-57%20PM/Ch_IV_03.pdf and United Nations, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1967, https://treaties.un.org/doc/Treaties/1976/03/19760323%2006-17%20AM/Ch_IV_04.pdf

[8] United Nations, 1979b. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm

[9] United Nations, 1999. Adoption of The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf177/plateng/aconf177-20-part6en.htm

[10] UN News Centre, 2015. Despite progress, UN labour agency says women’s workplace equality may take ‘decades’. Available at: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2015/03/despite-progress-un-labour-agency-says-womens-workplace-equality-may-take-decades/.

[11] United Nations, 2010. The UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework for Business and Human Rights, United Nations. Available at: http://www.reports-and-materials.org/sites/default/files/reports-and-materials/Ruggie-protect-respect-remedy-framework.pdf

[12] John Ruggie, Business and Human Rights: The Evolving International Agenda, John F. Kennedy School of Government, 2007 http://www.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/CSRI/publications/workingpaper_38_ruggie.pdf

[13] Ruggie, J. 2008. Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights: Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. http://www.reports-and-materials.org/sites/default/files/reports-and-materials/Ruggie-report-7-Apr-2008.pdf

[14] United Nations, 2010. The UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework for Business and Human Rights, United Nations. Available at: http://www.reports-and-materials.org/sites/default/files/reports-and-materials/Ruggie-protect-respect-remedy-framework.pdf

[15] For example, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1967), the CEDAW (1979), the Havana Charter for an International Trade Organization (1948), the Constitution of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (1979) and the Charter of the Asian and Pacific Development Centre (1982).

[16] United Nations, 1979b. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm

[17] United Nations, 1979a. Constitution of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations, Vienna. Available at: https://treaties.un.org/doc/Treaties/1985/06/19850621%2002-00%20AM/Ch_X_09p.pdf

[18] UN General Assembly, 1997. Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly: Agenda for Development, http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/51/ares51-240.htm

[19] World Bank Group, Gender at Work: A companion to the World Development Report on Jobs, World Development Bank, 2013, http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/Gender/GenderAtWork_web.pdf

[20] World Bank Group, Gender at Work ibid

[21] United Nations, 1999. Adoption of The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Available at: <www.un.org/documents/ga/conf177/plateng/aconf177-20-part6en.htm> [Accessed Oct, 15 2015].

[22] Al-Awsat, A. S., 2006. Public Debate in Saudi Arabia on Employment Opportunities for Women, The Middle East Media Research Institute, Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 300, November 17. And Handrahan, L., 2001. Gender Apartheid and Cultural Absolution: Saudi Arabia and the International Criminal Court. Human Rights Tribunal, 8(1).

[23] Only 131,000 women were registered to vote, compared to 1.4 million men, a number of female candidates were barred from standing and all participating female candidates were only allowed to speak with female voters, barred from conversing with men who are not related to them. See The Guardian, Two disqualified as first Saudi women begin campaign for election, November 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/29/first-saudi-arabia-women-stand-election-begin-campaigning

[24] United Nations Human Rights Council, 2013a. Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review—Seventeenth session. A/HRC/WG.6/17/SAU/2, Aug. 6, 2013.

[25] United Nations Human Rights Council, 2013b. Saudi Arabia National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21. A/HRC/WG.6/17/SAU/1, Aug 5, 2013.

[26] United Nations Human Rights Council, 2014a. Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review—Twentieth session. A/HRC/WG.6/20/IRN/2, Aug. 18, 2014; United Nations Human Rights Council, 2014b. Islamic Republic of Iran National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21. A/HRC/WG.6/20/IRN/1, Aug 4, 2014.

[27] ICHR—International Campaign For Human Rights, 2015. Worsening Conditions for Women in Iran Begin to Draw Attention. http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/04/rouhani-women-discrimination/ . And Human Rights Watch, 2015. World Report 2015: Iran, Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/iran

[28] UN General Assembly, 2011. The rule of law at the national and international levels: Report of the Sixth Committee. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/ROL%20A%2066%20475.pdf

[29] World Bank Group, Gender at Work: A companion to the World Development Report on Jobs, World Development Bank, 2013, http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/Gender/GenderAtWork_web.pdf

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