Iranian President Quashes Effort to Segregate Universities by Gender

Kamran Daneshjoo, the minister of higher education in Iran, recently ordered a study to gauge the feasibility of segregating colleges and universities in the country by gender. Primary and secondary schools in Iran are already segregated, but men and women attend classes together at most coeducational institutions of higher education.

Proponents of gender segregation claim that mixing men and women in the classroom is distracting to the students. Ayatollah Safi Golpaigani issued a statement in support of the plan to segregate universities by gender which read, “Mingling of male and female [students] thwarts scientific achievements and causes great corruption. The costs of segregation [for the government] are affordable however heavy they may be.”

After the plan to study the issue was announced, Daneshjoo appeared to backtrack a bit. He stated, “We do not want to create a wall (but) we are against the mingling of men and women based on Western styles.”

Finally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, demanded that any plans to segregated universities by gender be scrapped. In a statement the president said, “It is necessary that these shallow and unwise actions are prevented immediately.”

Women are expected to make up 60 percent of all entering students at Iranian universities this year.

Filed Under: Discrimination


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