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. Dredd:

    “NeoCons are everywhere these days.”

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

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

    • 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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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