development of employment and entrepreneurship. The Government reportedly increased the quota of women in recruitment of government departments and launched the Women's Business Development and Acceleration Center which aims at “strengthening rural women's associations and cooperation” as well as “entrepreneurship development for women”. 4 There is no readily available information as to what extent these measures effectively translated in practice. In fact, recent statistics suggest otherwise: a recent World Bank study ranked Iran fourth lowest in its 2019 Women, Business and the Law index,5 and according to the Government’s statistics published in 2018, female economic participation stood at 15.9 per cent for women, compared to 64.1 per cent for men, one of the lowest rates in the world.6 With regards to vocational trainings, Iran adopted the Law on Requirements for Vocational and Technical Training in 1997. The law entitles employers to request and obtain professional and technical certificates from relevant education authorities regarding applicants from jobseekers. Additionally, it contains provisions concerning training and education to improve the educational skills of existing qualified and semi-qualified workers. In 1980, Iran’s government established the Technical and Vocational Training Organization under the Ministry of Labour. This organization is in charge of arranging vocational courses ranging from 1 to 18 months in duration in the public sector, with permanent centers and mobile training centers for rural areas, as well as in prisons, garrisons, industries and in private authorized institutions. In the Persian year 1396 (2017), there were reportedly 552 such institutions, in which 191 were for men, 95 women and 226 were multi-gender. This represents a slow decline in the number of training centers, of which there were 588 in the Persian year 1395, 698 in 1394 and 719 in 1393.7 Nevertheless, it is not apparent whether a decrease in quantity of vocational and technical training opportunities is correlated with a similar decrease in quality. There are no reports that indicate that this mechanism has had a substantial positive effect in the labour market for women and youth. Despite a decrease in overall unemployment rates, youth unemployment (ages 15-29) in 2019 remained high at around 23.7% in which 20.3% of the unemployed workforce was male and 35.3% was female.8 B. The Committee also urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to adopt temporary special measures to address the very high unemployment rates in areas with ethnic minorities 4 UPR 2019, National Report, Islamic Republic of Iran, World Bank, Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform, May 2019, p.9 6 Statistical Centre of Iran, Natayej-e-Amar giri-ye- nirou-ye-kaar, Paeiz-e-1396 [Results of the census on workforce, Autumn of 1396], 7 Combined data from the Iranian Statistics Center ( and the Annual statistics of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. ( ) 8 5 2

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