Universities In Iran Ban Female Degrees To Create ‘Balance’
I don’t think that Iran is working with the same dictionary as the rest of us. In the name of “balance,” universities in Iran have made some degrees “male-only,” meaning, obviously, that women can’t get them.
Female college students in Iran have been blocked from more than 70 fields of study in an officially-approved act of sex-discrimination, reports the Telegraph. Critics say that the move is a blatant effort to block equal rights for women. Interestingly, for years, female students in Iran have outperformed their male peers, which threatens the strictly patriarchal culture of the country. Women have also outnumbered men by as much as three in passing this year’s entrance exams, reports MSN.
Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, has demanded a UN investigation into the matter.
Among the blocked degrees: English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and business management. Some universities have said that they won’t be accepting female students at all anymore (but they blame a lack of employer demand).
“[It] is part of the recent policy of the Islamic Republic, which tries to return women to the private domain inside the home as it cannot tolerate their passionate presence in the public arena,” wrote Mrs Ebadi, a human rights lawyer exiled in the UK, which was sent to Ahmad Shaheed, the UN’s go-to guy for human rights in Iran. “The aim is that women will give up their opposition and demands for their own rights.”
Despite protests and criticism, Iran’s science and higher education minister said that 90 percent of degrees still remain open to both men and women and that single-gender courses are in fact needed to create “balance.”
Balance of what? Well, we don’t know. Just don’t consider studying abroad in Iran if you’re a woman for now.