An Iranian human rights organization (HRNA) reported that Isfahan University of Technology recently announced ‘new policies’ and changes in their graduate programs which include a ban on female students from studying in seven different engineering fields.
The report cites sources from Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) stating:
“Isfahan University of Technology will no longer admit female students into graduate programs to study agricultural engineering with a concentration in irrigation, animal science and machinery. Female students have also been banned from obtaining masters degrees in natural resources engineering with a concentration in watershed and land management as well as desertification. Furthermore, the university has adopted a policy to admit only male students to study water resources engineering.
The worst part of it all is the fact that “measures” have also been taken by the same authorities to admit only male students to study water resources engineering.
The decision (quite obviously) has garnered a lot of criticism and backlash, especially from the victims, the female students of Iran. According to them, the university adopted this measure without consulting or considering the number of females already studying in the ‘banned’ fields. These objections have been sent to the institute’s authorities in a letter, according to HRANA.
This isn’t the first time Iran has imposed such discriminatory bans in the educational sector. Last year, thirty-six universities across Iran banned women from 77 different majors, including accounting, counseling, and engineering.
The excuse has always been the same: religion and culture.
But it doesn’t make any sense, right? When did education become ‘unsuitable’ for women? How is studying engineering incompatible with the female gender? It’s one of the most important and fundamental as well as international rights of individuals, men or women, to acquire education. And that includes engineering as well. It goes without saying that the imposition of the ban on female students is outrageous and discriminatory.