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Iran bars women from engineering courses

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 10:32am
Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

Iran hasn’t exactly acquitted itself as a champion of human rights, but this news is almost too hard to believe: 77 BA and BS courses across 36 different universities will be "single gender" in the upcoming school year.

ECN doesn’t normally cover news like this, but the "single gender" disciplines include computer science, nuclear physics, and engineering fields like chemical engineering, industrial engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, agricultural engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, railway engineering, and last but certainly not least, electrical engineering.

This controversial policy — to say the least — will slash the proportion of female students, who made up 65% of the total, to less than 50%.


Several institutions of higher learning, including The Oil Industry University, have shut their doors to women altogether.

The UK’s telegraph notes that senior clerics in Iran's theocratic regime worry about declining birth and marriage rates (both allegedly the result of rising educational standards among women).

But Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi believes that the real reason for the changes is to weaken the Iranian feminist movement.

In a letter to Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary general, and Navi Pillay, the high commissioner for human rights, Ebadi noted that "the Iranian government is trying to stifle any opposition voice regarding gender discrimination."

Rather than editorialize on this lightning rod of a topic, I urge you to peruse the following link and weigh in below.

http://www.peacejam.org/news/Shirin-Ebadi-Calls-on-United-Nations-Women-to-Address-Oppression-of-Women-in-Iran-789.aspx

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