While America’s college feminists lament the bitter struggles they face in getting someone to pay for their birth control, an all-too real war on college women is being waged as Iranian women are banned by the Islamist regime from study at Iran’s colleges and universities.
Among the nearly 80 fields of study apparently deemed inappropriate by the Iranian government for feminine academic pursuit include nuclear physics, engineering, computer science, chemistry business management, education and English.
While one of the purported reasons cited by Iranian authorities for the decision was a lack of employer demand for women graduates, evidenced by an unemployment rate for women under 30 at 28 percent, Iranian Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo claimed the main factor to be a need to find a greater “balance” in gender enrollment.
Specifically, Iran has the highest ratio of female to male undergraduates in the world, with women representing 65 percent of Iranian undergraduates and about 70 percent of its science graduates, academic success which has led to an increased willingness of families to seek higher education for their daughters.
Now, however, in the eyes of Iran’s theocratic regime the gender collegiate imbalance has grown far too lopsided and dangerous, especially among Iranian mullahs who have become openly distressed about the rising social effects of higher educational achievement for women.
While those concerns include declining birth and marriage rates, the far more problematic issue is the danger liberated and educated women pose to Iran’s Islamic and highly misogynistic regime, one with a long and brutal track record of oppression and subjugation of women.
In fact, a 2006 United Nations report found that “violence against women in the Islamic Republic of Iran is ingrained,” violence and hatred which finds its expression in a number of distressingly harsh ways.
For example, Iranian girls can be legally forced to marry at the age of 13, with efforts currently underway to lower that threshold to nine; women without the right to divorce their husbands; polygamy which is legal and encouraged by the government; a penal code punishment of stoning for women who commit adultery; and enforced Islamic dress codes, violations which are punished by jail and lashings.
Yet, for many Iranian men, loathing of women can also include a correspondingly equal fear, one evidenced in one of Ayatollah Khomeini’s last sermons, which dealt with the “three threats” confronting Islam: America, Jews, and women.
One of those feminine menaces apparently includes a woman’s ability to generate catastrophic geological events through inappropriate attire, as determined by one Iranian cleric, Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, who said a 2003 earthquake that killed 30,000 was because “Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes.”
That view was echoed by leaders in the Iranian government, such as Sadeg Mahsooli, Iran’s then-Minister of Welfare and Social Security, who chimed in: “We cannot invent a system that prevents earthquakes, but God has created this system and that is to avoid sins, to pray, to seek forgiveness, pay alms and self-sacrifice.”
So, given all that, it’s not surprising then that the Islamist regime is now clamping down on the collegiate opportunities being afforded Iranian women, especially since political dissent in Iran since its 1979 revolution has been mostly generated in universities, thus making them incubators of subversion, with feminist student groups regarded as the most mutinous.
In fact, Iranian Noble Laureate Shirin Ebadi maintains the new educational restrictions on women are designed specifically to undermine Iran’s feminist movement, a movement which has been gaining strength since the first election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian presidency in 2005.