According to newly released government figures more than 26% of Iranian women suffer from mental disorders, compared to 16% of the male population.
Speaking at a press conference for the National Women’s Health Week seminar, Dr. Abbas Nasehi, chairman of the mental health department at the health ministry, said that the figures represent a major national problem that needs to be addressed urgently.
“The main reasons for the spread of mental disorders among women are discrimination, divorce, sexual dysfunction, and stressful, low-paid jobs,” Dr. Nasehi told the Mehr news agency. He added that Iranian women tend to begin puberty early, with physiological consequences that made them prone to depression later. Pregnancy, post-natal depression and breast-feeding also contribute to the high mental disorder statistics.
Dr. Nasehi asked the government to fight the problem by providing more state-funded social care and by creating more sports and entertainment facilities. He also urged them to provide better security for women at work and in the home, single mothers and divorcees in particular.