Iran plans university gender quotas

Iran is to impose a quota that men and women form a minimum of 30 percent in university courses, partly in a bid to prevent women dominating the medical profession, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Iran plans university gender quotas
Women currently outnumber men at universities in Iran and the imbalance has become especially acute in medicine, creating fears that the vast majority of medical professionals could be women in the future.

'There will be a minimum 30 percent admission for men and women each and the rest will be chosen competitively,' Etemad newspaper quoted the head of Iran's Academic Testing Organisation, Abdolrasool Pour Abbas, as saying.

'The law will guarantee the entrance of both genders in medical, engineering and humanities fields,' he said.

He argued that the measure was not discriminating against women, pointing out that they would benefit in disciplines where they are still outnumbered by men.

'In natural sciences, where girls score higher marks, the gender quotas will benefit men. It will benefit women in mathematics and engineering where they rank lower than men.'

The Mehr news agency quoted Pour Abbas as saying that women made up 60 percent of new entrants in pharmacy and dentistry.

Iranian women are proud of their growing numbers at universities and officials are eager to say this shows there is gender equality in the Islamic republic.

A report by parliament's research centre found that 'there was no use for part of the money spent on educating specialised forces', alluding to women staying at home after graduation.

Iran has reportedly admitted men and women according to a certain quota in some fields in the past two years, but it is the first time it applies to all major courses.

The advocated restriction has been met with angry protests from women's rights activists, reformists and even some conservative politicians, who found it discriminatory towards women.

'I am against any injustice that creates a limit for either men or women,' Nafiseh Fayazbakhsh, a conservative woman MP, told, Etemad. 'I believe everyone must enjoy the fruit of their own efforts.'

Pour Abbas said the measure would take effect with university entrance tests in June, ahead of the start of the next academic year in September.

Agencies
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2008, 18:34
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Ibrahim Yılmaz
Ibrahim Yılmaz - 13 yıl Önce

"Iranian women are proud of their growing numbers at universities and officials are eager to say this shows there is gender equality in the Islamic republic." Dera Iranian ladies and officials, as Turkish muslims we are not less proud and happy thanyou about your successes. You are doing great works Iran, great great works.. Much success.. With good works like this you can be a true torch for the world.