Sunday, 19 February 2012

womennewsnetwork:Segregation of women under health care a growing certainty in Iran


(WNN) Tehran, IRAN: As problems surround Iran in a widening international scope that includes sanctions and a possible imminent blockade of U.S. Naval ships through the Strait of Hormuz, the problems for women under inequality in the region are on the rise. Segregation of women, strictly because of their gender, is becoming more of a trend inside every aspect of Iranian society as leaders move to tighten the reach women have within the country.

Discussions on the topic have reached legislative levels, especially topics covering gender segregation in  hospitals that would be set up to cater to women only.

“Creation of single-gender hospital is necessary…,” said members of Iran’s Parliament, also known as the Majlis, in a recent discussion which included members of Iran’s Office of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

The implementation of the Same Sex Health Care  Delivery system (SSHCD), a religious based philosophy covering the separation of women from men in a medical environment, may be on its way as five plus university hospitals opt to begin the process of adopting a gender exclusion policy that will divide the sexes in health care treatment, medical environment, medical staff and treatment options. This policy encourages the use of female physicians only in the care of women.

“…it appears that five or six medical universities in the provinces have declared their readiness to establish these hospitals in big metropolitan areas,” says Dr. Shideh Rezaei a senior research analyst who also writes for Iran Rooyan, a publication that focuses on the needs and rights of women and girls inside Iran.
“While discussions about and adoption of policies on gender segregation in the public sphere date back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, efforts to actually implement physical segregation of men and women have not been successful beyond schools,” continued Dr. Rezaei. “Segregation at Universities has been proposed and has come up more systematically as a subject of interest in the past few years, but with limited resources it is difficult to implement this system. Instead the establishment of more all female Universities has been proposed and planned,” he added.

While attempts to separate women to the ‘back of the bus’ with Tehran’s transportation system, many women do not heed this as buses become crowded during the city rush hour. ‘All-women’ universities have also been part of initiatives to separate men and women at the college level.

In a country where 98 percent of the population has full access to health care and 97 births are attended by medical professionals, Iran’s future and the future of Iran’s women under a shifting health care system are now set against the backdrop of policies carved out by the region’s religious leaders.

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