Iran Bans Women From Academic Programs

Despite the harsh conditions for women living under the Sharia laws, Iran has a long history of highly educated women. Indeed, women have been outnumbering men three to one in entrance exams — and outperformed men in many tests. Iranian clerics have mandated a new policy that will surely wipe out that deficiency among men: they are effectively barring women from dozens of degree programs and universities as a whole in some cases. It is a devastating blow for women’s rights and will lock millions of women into lives of subjugation.


Iran has mandated “single gender” studies reportedly out of concern with declining birth and marriage rates. These social ills are blamed by many on the increasing educational levels of women.
Female undergraduates will be barred from studies including but not limited to English literature, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business management. This has led some universities to say that female applicants will no longer be considered.

Some universities have justified the decision to simply bar women on the ground that 98 percent of female graduates are not hired. This is obviously due to the discrimination against women by both the government and private companies. It is hardly a convincing excuse for academics to join in the anti-intellectual and misogynistic policies of their government.

The move to restrict the higher education of women is more likely an effort to suppress the burgeoning feminist movement in Iran. Under the Shah, women enjoyed relative freedom and many educated Iranian women continue to strive for greater equality in the Islamic Republic.

Kamran Daneshjoo, the science and higher education minister, insists that most degree programs remain open to women. While Daneshjoo claims that 90 percent of programs are still open to women, that figure does address the number of women in these respective programs. The new limitations affect choice programs that likely attracted a higher number of women. They also represent some of the most rewarding careers like engineering.

The denial of opportunity to women will now make a desperate situation for some women perfectly intolerable. The denial of the intellectual advancement of these women is an international disgrace. It is also remarkably stupid for a country that desperately needs highly educated professionals.

Source: Telegraph

37 thoughts on “Iran Bans Women From Academic Programs

  1. It would seem high time for a university in the west to offer an online course in Farsi for each of these courses denied to women of Iran. But, somehow the link will be censored by the gov’t there I would sadly venture to say.

    And where will the UN be on standing up for the women. Nowhere.

    Sad state of affairs.

  2. This is soooo SAD!!!!

    once upon a time, the Muslim religion was one of the most PROGRESSIVE Religions….

    Now it seems they just want to keep moving backwards and backwards…

    I think the west should just cut these countries OFF of any aid…. or any trade agreements until they get up to speed on how CIVILIZED Nations treat their women… and people in general….

  3. Knowledge is the antidote of fundie religion. Kind of nice to see the medicine still works and the theocrats know it. They sure miss those Dark Ages.

  4. justagurl ,,,:

    once upon a time, the Muslim religion was one of the most PROGRESSIVE Religions

    ********************

    Not on this planet.

  5. A couple of Iranian points of fact:

    —-generally speaking the academic systems os sweden and iran differ widely: getting in the swedish is difficult and out is easy; getting in the iranian is easy but out is hard. So says my iranian informant, a 21 year old.

    —-iran still produces world class people who leave there and do very well elsewhere. The Stockholm Heart Center is run (owned) by Iranian cardiologists. Most educated and working in Sweden at other hospitals (with some time at hhe Center).

  6. Why the moral outrage? From most of the posts I’ve read on other articles about the cult of Islam, all the Leftists are delighted with everything that Islam and its followers do. In fact, the Leftists would love to see Islam replace Christianity and Judaism in their entirety, along with the establishment of a universal One-World-Government under Sharia law system. Islam is, after all, the pseudo-religion of peace, is it not? Just keep supporting those Leftists candidates running for office, and you will achieve your goals! Go for it!

  7. Coming soon to a state near you! Now in Christian Flavor!

    ***************

    mespo,

    In re: Not on this planet.

    You may see this as a quibble, but this is not entirely factually correct.

    The religion itself is just as retrograde ultimately on the society of the ME as Christianity is in the West. However, cultures that predominately practice Islam can be and have been progressive in the past. The period of history between 750 CE to 1257 CE is known as the so-called Islamic Golden Age, which interestingly enough, happens to roughly coincide with the Dark Ages of medieval Europe. During this period, Islamic culture can be credited with contribution to scientific knowledge (not the least of which is formalization of the scientific method by Alhazen), a society rich in cultural arts, medicine, and architecture. Not only did the Islamic world succeed in developing their own unique contributions to the continuum that is human civilization but they succeed in developing and preserving traditions and knowledge of ancient Greece, Persia and Egypt being contemporaneously lost in the West. These achievements are technically separate from the religion predominately practiced in the region, true, but for a period countries with Islamic culture were more progressive than in the West. None of this changes that the region descended into barbarism after this period, a period of barbarism they have never fully escaped from to this day in many countries.

    As evidenced by this story.

    Unfortunately both the Islamic world and the West but specifically the U.S. are starting to show all the signs of falling into a new dark age driven by religious, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific and economic factors. Much of the Islamic world just doesn’t have as far to fall having not quite climbed out of the last hole they fell in. One commonality in the decline of civilizations is when belief starts being substituted for logic and reason. In this, all religions can be, are, and have been retrograde influences on civilization since the start of civilization, but all civilizations regardless of religious traditions are capable of progress. Progress or retrograde motion in civilization is derived from the people within a given culture and how they contribute in ways that not only better or worsen their specific society, but all of humanity.

    Pendulums swing.
    Cultures swing.
    Monkeys swing.
    It isn’t cool to abuse the ability to swing.

  8. Ralphy: No lefty would like Iran. Now if the program appears to be similar to anything on the Platform of an American political party look no further than those lefties in the RepubliCon Party who just finished their platform. Say Hello To Todd. This is why Rightie Bushie bombed and invaded the wrong Eye country, meaning the country with the letter I being the leadoff letter.
    The sooner that we Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran… the better. First go for the nukes and then go for the turbins. I did not spell it turbine.

  9. Not sure this will appreciably increase the birth rate in Iran, though, because according to the doctors I have consulted about this, a woman’s body kinda shuts down when she’s unable to matriculate in her chosen field.

  10. Gene H:

    “You may see this as a quibble, but this is not entirely factually correct.”

    *********************

    Islam certainly had an intellectual awakening but calling is progressive is a stretch in the social context I meant. While enjoying a “Golden Age” during 750 CE to 1257 CE, they continued their misogynist ways along with subjugating through force much of the Mideast, Turkey, and Europe with their reactionary religion. From the 9th through the 11th Century Jews in Muslim lands were subjected to various and bloody pogroms and Christians fared little better. One of the stated reasons for the Crusades was the 3000 Christians massacred in Jerusalem in 1065 by the radical islamic, Seljuk Turks. While one group of zealots killing another is hardly novel, it doesn’t speak well to the “progressive” designs of one of the combatants.

  11. Ralph:

    ” In fact, the Leftists would love to see Islam replace Christianity and Judaism in their entirety, along with the establishment of a universal One-World-Government under Sharia law system.”

    *******************

    What Leftists? Where?

    P.S. If they are just little voices in your head or are vouched to you by Rush Limbaugh they don’t count.

  12. Dredd:

    “NeoCons are everywhere these days.”

    **********************

    They are as ubiquitous as black flies in summer and just as welcome.

  13. Lookit – – – – – Is this really any of the American people’s business & just how does this affect the U.S. in any way, shape or form? Just who the hell died & left America in charge of telling the Iranians how to run their ralroad. Anyone who doesn’t like the way Iranian women are treated should not go there or buy anything that comes from there. Other than that, the American government should lead by example and stop interfering with the internal affairs of other countries. Unless I am mistaken, America has not always treated men & women as equals. In time, the Iranian people will sort this out for themselves without any interference from the U.S.

  14. Michael J. Marsalek:

    “Lookit – – – – – Is this really any of the American people’s business & just how does this affect the U.S. in any way, shape or form? Just who the hell died & left America in charge of telling the Iranians how to run their ralroad.”

    **********************

    Great to find a bona fide isolationist these days. And one who has absolutely no regard for the civil rights of women in other countries is an added bonus.

    Who cares what happens to those Gypsies, Jews, and homosexuals in Nazi Germany? It’ll never affect us — or so my grandfather once said.

  15. Yeah, and don’t forget the Chinese freedom fighters. When do we bomb them? Bravehearts are we all. Ehhh? Messpo.

    Just teasing you Mark. But, seriously, Why do we use the fate of Iranian women to justify a war over Iran’s oil?
    Do we suspect WMD’s? CIA says no.

    So let the drumroll commence. Now Iran is getting to use Iraqi oil as income, thanks to the Shia minister of oil. Was that war a winner?

  16. The issue the U.S. had with Iraq & Lybia and now with Iran was the move to displace the dollar as the only currency to settle oil & other international transactions. When the dollar is displaced as the global reserve currency, the U.S. economy will be just like Greece.

  17. It is not good to generalize, but I have known and worked with so many Iranian (Persian) women that feel justify to do it: Persian women as a group are one heck of a tough bunch: ferociously independent, confident, intelligent, strong-willed, fearless, and academically driven. You might remember from TV images of the Green Uprising a few years ago, protestors on the street were mostly women. This gives me hope, because the ignorant mullahs might have gone too far messing with women, they might get a real uprising to deal with. Wishful thinking?

  18. idealist:

    “Why do we use the fate of Iranian women to justify a war over Iran’s oil?
    Do we suspect WMD’s? CIA says no.”

    *******************

    There are always good reasons to maim the interests and capabilities of those who would annihilate us and our allies simply for who we are and what we stand against.

  19. The way the “keep ’em barefoot and pregnant” policy makers in the Republican Party have been leaning as of late, this “Iranian” anti-educational idea may be the next thing they try to get out the vote?

  20. Bron:

    A very liberating video in both senses. People standing up and fighting for human rights. I long for the time when they finally achieve victory. Hopefully the wait will be short for all concerned.

  21. Jonathan, this was not a decision by “Iranian clerics” and in fact the massive gains in female literacy and access to higher ed happened AFTER the Islamic revolution. This was a decision by SOME independently administered colleges. It was not approved by the govt (yet) and the outcome remains to be seen.

  22. Those Iranian women better get ahold of some guns very quickly and start killing their abusers before they find that they have allowed their government to take away their freedom. And worse… Id, Ibid, manonero…

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