September 9: Lately, newly-weds in Iran have been facing an unusual problem. They just can’t find homes to live in after they get married. This is because there is a shortage of housing in Iran.
To help solve this housing crisis, Iran’s government is planning to turn military centres and prisons into housing units for newly weds.
A housing ministry official was quoted in a news item in the Times of India as saying, “A plan has been drafted for turning military centers and prisons into economical 50 square metre housing units for newly married couples.”
Young Iranians face acute accommodation problems. Lack of housing and unemployment are the most important factors why young Iranians are not keen to marry and start a family.
These two factors have given rise to a social trend among young people, called “siqeh”. Simply put, this means temporary marriage. Couples are allowed to live together without getting married as per the terms of siqeh. Islam, the religion of Iranians, allows this arrangement.
But the government is not happy at this trend. The government feels that if young Iranians postpone having children now, Iran will have a problem later. This would mean that a majority of the population would consist of older people.
While the current younger generation becomes middle-aged twenty years from now, the country will not have many youngsters who’ll grow to be future citizens. How will it, unless the present lot of young people marry and have children?
So the government is going all out to woo these young citizens to get married despite the odds. Between 1999 and 2000, over 500,000 marriages were registered in Iran. The government has arranged ideal wedding presents for the married couples – houses.