This coming academic year, 36 universities in Iran have announced that 77 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences courses will now be “single gender” and therefore only available to men. With women outnumbering men by three to two in passing this year’s university entrance exam, The Daily Beast theorizes Iranian leaders are becoming “concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women” — as in, women are becoming too educated at the (scare quotes!) “expense” of men.
This is scary stuff.
The Nobel laureate and human rights lawyer exiled in the U.K. Shirin Ebadi said the ultimate goal is “weakening the Iranian feminist movement in its campaign against discriminatory Islamic laws,” which will be done by restricting women’s access to formal education. Of course, that’s not what Iran’s official story is. Many of the universities are blaming “employer demand”/the lack of jobs females receive after graduation, i.e. implying men alone would be best served by taking the now-f0rbidden courses. Ebadi is not buying it and is demanding that the United Nations investigate Iran’s move.
The science and higher education minister said but, but, but 90 percent of degrees are still open to both sexes. Restricted degrees, however, include English literature, English translation, hotel management, nuclear physics, archeology, computer science, electrical engineering, business management and industrial engineering.
You know, English translation, physics, computers … nothing important.
Contact the author of this post at Daley@TheFrisky.com.