Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
August 21, 2012
We have seen reports that 36 Iranian universities have banned women from 77 critical fields of study including engineering, education, and counseling. This decision represents a significant regression for women in Iran, who have outnumbered men in universities for over a decade, and will further restrict the ability of Iranian women to find employment.
A number of university deans have justified their actions by stating that certain courses have a “manly nature” and are not suitable for women, while Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo has called the segregation effort a top priority to protect morality. These statements undermine the efforts of Iranian women to freely determine their futures and diminish the potential of the Iranian workforce.
We call upon Iranian authorities to protect women’s rights and to uphold Iran’s own laws and international obligations which guarantee non-discrimination in all areas of life, including access to education.