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Sep   2012

Wed

05

Harsh Discrimination in Iran Has Led to Unequal Rights for Women

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Tags: Iranian women rights, Iranian women, Iranian colleges, discrimination in Iran, sex-discrimination

by
Magazine Journalism Major, Boston University

All over the globe, women have struggled to achieve equal rights with men. Over the years, and in many countries, there has been much improvement for women’s rights. However, in some religious male-dominated countries, like Iran, women’s rights are often hindered because they believe that females are not equal to males.

Iranian women have been banned from over 70 university degrees and courses due to sex-discrimination. According to a recent article in The Telegraph, 36 universities have stated that many of their courses will be “single gender” for men only. Here are a few reasons why Iranian women should never be banned from university courses:

Iranian women are smart

Women have outnumbered men in passing the college entrance exam by a ratio of three to two! Many women are also performing better than their male peers in countless male-dominated college courses. Iran has the highest ratio of female-to-male college students in the world—because of this, women have become more prominent in classes that are normally associated with men, such as physics and engineering courses. 

Iranian women can work and raise a family

According to a news article in The Telegraph, many men that belong to Iran’s theocratic regime believe that if women start to increase their educational standards, then this will result in declining birth and marriage rates. This belief stems from the idea that women will be more focused on work and not focused on raising a family. But many women, regardless of culture, have been able to juggle a full-time job and a family simultaneously. Let’s face it—women are masters of multitasking, aren’t we?

Iranian women are passionate

Iranian females have the ability to succeed if they are given the chance. These women are interested in many male dominated courses but are unable to take them. For example, Isfahan University has excluded women from their mining engineering degree because the university says that 98% of female graduates with this degree will never find a job.

The Oil Industry University has said that it will accept no female students into any of its degree programs because employers do not want to hire females.

According to The Telegraph, the Islamic Republic has started a new policy that tries to eliminate women from the public and confine them to the household. The Republic believes this is the only place that women belong. However, Iranian parliamentarians have disapproved and questioned this new policy. A country with such strong and passionate women should embrace it, not hinder it.

Kamran Daneshjoo, the science and higher education minister in Iran, has disregarded the controversy all together. She stated that 90% of college-level degrees are available to both men and women, but “single gender” courses (male-only classes) are needed to construct stability.

The idea that women are unable to apply for over 70 university degrees may seem bizarre to female college students in the United States. Today, many U.S. universities are prominently female (like my school, Boston University!). Having a mixture of both females and males on a college campus can really benefit the students and the community. Each and every individual brings something new and different to the table . . . or to the college campus!

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