Women excluded from vast areas of study
With the announcement of university entrance exam results for the coming academic year in Iran, 36 universities have closed 77 fields of study to women.
The Mehr News Agency reported on Monday that women at these universities are to be banned from such fields of study as engineering, accounting, education, counseling, the restoration of monuments and chemistry.
Several universities, including the University of Semnan, Kharazmi Tehran and the Art Schools of Tabriz, Mazandaran and Kashan have announced that they have spaces for new students in only one field, and they will be open to men only.
Ardebil Mohaghegh University is closing its doors to women in 24 areas of study, the Lorestan University in 18 and the International University of Imam Khomeini in 15.
These new developments were not announced in the university brochures that previously had been distributed. Several universities have practically closed all areas of study in the oil industry to women.
The Ahmadinejad administration has long been mulling over ideas about gender segregation in universities.
Following the election protests of 2009 that led to mass street protests, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei pointed the finger at universities as the breeding ground for subversive behaviour and called for a greater focus on Islamic principles in universities.