Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian Nobel Peace laureate, has written to the United Nations to protest the Islamic Republic’s recent policies toward women. Ebadi claims the Iranian government is trying to limit the active presence of women in society. Ebadi issued a letter urging the United Nations to focus on the new discriminatory policies against women as part of Iran’s human rights dossier, referring to the 77 university programs that are now closed to women, particularly in the technical and engineering fields. The letter reads: “In addition to the discriminatory laws imposed on women since the 1979 Revolution, in the new academic year, 36 universities have begun refusing women in 77 programs.” She cites the example of Arak University, where English language and literature, education, computer science, and chemical, industrial, civil, mechanical and agricultural engineering no longer accept female applicants. In another example, Isfahan University is reportedly not accepting women in political science, accounting, industrial, commercial and public administration, and electronic, civil, mechanical and railroad engineering as well as translation. Shirin Ebadi maintains that the new policies have reduced the proportion of women attending universities from 65% to 50%. “The Iranian government is using various initiatives, laws and policies to restrict women’s education and their active presence in society, to return them to the house so that they stop fighting for their rightful demands and let the government go ahead with its erroneous policies.
Source: Iran Daily Brief