Ban women from university? Who chooses?

In August 2012 thirty six Iranian universities announced that almost 80 of their courses will now be offered only to men. Women will be banned from entry to courses that include English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business management.

Exiled human rights campaigner and Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi wrote an open letter to the United Nations dated Aug. 17, 2012, demanding the UN investigate what she refers to as officially sanctioned discrimination.
(Source: Telegraph Media Group, UK – Anger as Iran bans women from universities)

Should gender be one of the factors that qualifies, (or disqualifies), someone from entry to education? Do Governments have the right to make such decisions? What do you think?

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53 thoughts on “Ban women from university? Who chooses?

  1. Education shouldn’t be discriminatory at all, regardless of age, sex, social status, etc. Why the Iranian government decided to do that is really a mystery. Are women ‘less able’ in those subjects? Are they not smart enough? It all depends on the individual. The government shouldn’t have a right to make those kinds of decisions – but then again, the government shouldn’t have a right to send the asylum seekers to Nauru, as once again, there’s no reason to. In any way, now that women are restricted from learning eighty courses – that’s a lot – I don’t think this incident will go down without some sort of inquiry.

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  2. I just thought that in this kind of article, most people would jump to conclusions, seeing as this happens in the Middle East, some people might be pointing fingers at Islam and Muslims, blaming religion. What might be even worse is that the Iranian government themselves might use some things in Islam as an excuse. I’m just trying to show that this kind of treatment isn’t so foreign and far away and much closer to home.

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    • I noticed that the link to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2010 did not work. I have now fixed it but also found the 2012 report. Click here to read it. The 2012 report says on page 4 that “The world has achieved parity in primary education between girls and boys.” This means that for PRIMARY school level education just as many girls are boys achieve this/ However, page 5 says that, “Gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government.” However, more boys that girls are given the oportunity to attend school at Secondary education level.

      Page 21 of the UN report gives some reasons why girls are being discriminated against regarding access to secondary education. “Gender disparities in secondary education emerge from gender-based discrimination in the family and in the society in general. Secondary schooling is more costly than primary education, and households are often forced to ration resources among children. Where girls’ education is less valued, or is perceived as generating lower returns, parents may favour sons over daughters. Early marriage can act as another barrier to secondary school progression. Parents may also worry more about the security of adolescent girls because secondary schools are often farther from home than primary schools.”

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  3. Women should not be ban from having the chance to attend university, because if they weren’t allowed it would be discriminating them, we all have equal rights and women should not be considered lower than men. Also we should not be sexist at all. Many women in today’s society wish to pursuit a professional career, and we should not stop them from having the opportunities by banning universities for women it would be simply unfair and outrageous!

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  4. This article describes discrimination towards the “females”. This should not be allowed especially when there is more of a population of female teachers of literacy etc then there are of men. What’s the point in being sexist? Females can do the exact same thing as males when it comes to jobs. So why should the females have to be discriminated against this? The government should be eligible to stop the females getting into the university for those subjects. I think that this discrimination is not good enough, is completely sexist and not needed. It’s completely unfair to the females that want to be able to do what they wanted as a job they like.

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  5. agreeing with lin’s comment, whether or not you can do a course or study a subject is your personal choice. the government has no right to be sexist in whether women are allowed to participate in the course. if the course is something they have chosen and love to do then let them do it. ultimately its their decision and shouldn’t be pushed around by the government.

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  6. Any type of school/work place/university shouldn’t involve discrimination, not only discrimination against a certain race but also discrimination against gender. What the Iranian universities are doing is wrong as it is sexist. It should be up to the student to decide if they are going to do a certain course, it should not be banned. There is no acceptable excuse for banning women from university, it is discrimination and i, along with a lot of other people, disapprove of the decision.

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  7. To remove a woman’s right from the opportunity to learn and go to university is disgraceful. It is discrimination of gender, and practically saying that women don’t have the right to learn or study for a specific skill. Everyone is encouraged to learn and fight for their rights. But to ban a woman from that privilege to learn is unbelievable. No one at all should chose to have such a ‘ban’ forced upon women. It would be unjust, we are all equals no matter gender, race, or appearance.

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  8. I think taking away women’s rights to learn is the wrong thing to do. I think everyone should have the opportunity to have a career which they want, and the gender of the person shouldn’t have an effect on whether they get that job or not. I mean… What ever happened to gender equality?? I just think this is a very wrong thing to do as it will leave many women with a job that they don’t want or even they might not have a job at all.

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  9. Taking away education from women is wrong. It’s sexist to women and its discriminating. They should have equal rights as men because the only difference is gender when it comes to learning anyway. Women don’t deserve to be held back in education, especially if it’s something that they are good at. The government shouldn’t be able do things like that because it’s pretty stupid. If someone wants to do one of those particular subjects, they should be allowed to without any problems. This will only be a setback for the Iran government when fewer women have skills in the certain components taken away from them.

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  10. I think this is a joke. It is stupid what Iran is doing. You should only not allow someone to do a job if they don’t meet the qualifications. Shirin Ebadi is doing a great thing for the women being discriminated. What the Iranians are doing is very sexist and I don’t agree with it. They should have equal rights as men and be able to have any education or job they want. Women deserve to do everything. I don’t know why the government is even allowed to do this, and why do every member of thier government is backing this. I hope the UN put an stop to this before it becomes to late.

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  11. I also think that this is wrong. Women should be able to get the same education as men are able to get. This is discrimination and it is sexist. If these women have these skills they should let them go to university so they can turn those skills into a real world job. The Government shouldn’t have the right to make this decision. No one should have the right to make a decision this big because the decision would be affecting peoples chance of a by taking away their education as well as not letting them have the chance to make a difference in the world. I hope this is something that the UN stop because it is just so outrageous!

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  12. this is just sexist. women derserve a right to gain an education what makes them any different. why do they get discriminated because of female, that is just wrong. its not like they a level below men. they are the same and should be treated equally. this isnt the government decision to make. they just cant eradicate the female population from university. it is just wrong and it will affect the live os women.this is just outrageous.

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  13. I think that the stance taken by several Iranian Universities is a wrong decision made by Iran and a seriously sexist decision made. Being admitted to a university should always depend on the intellectual abilities of the students and not the gender of the student. This policy would also reduce the amount of skilled workers in Iran and hurt the overall state of Iran at a time where their economy is already struggling because of a trade embargo enforced by the United States. I think that this is wrong and that this decision should be overturned as quickly as possible.

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  14. I think that it is rediculous. Women and men both have the right to learn anything they want and shoulnt be banned from it. They are being disrcriminative and sexist. We al deserve the right to be educated and do something we love. Why banned woman ? how was women learning affecting them in any way? It wasnt , it’s just selfish and ude.

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  15. It is wrong that if you are a certain sex, that you are ban from going to univerity. It is sexist, and basically saying that we shouldn’t have the right to get a better education. It’s also as if they are saying all women should just not focus on their education and stay at home and look after their family, whilst the male learns and works. It is a discrimination towards the female sex, and should not be allowed.

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  16. I think that this is very wrong. They should not be banning women from going to university because this is basic discrimination and this is not excepted in my perspective.

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  17. No school or university should discriminate and be bias like that, education is a big part of life. Women should be equal to men. They should have and be treated the same as men or even better. This is not right, all the women in Iran should have the right to be educated the same as men and have, and the same opportunities as well.

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  18. It is definitely wrong for the Iran Universities to cancel out career opportunities just because of someone’s gender, race, religion etc. It is sexist and just wrong. Women are just the same as men, if we wish to do something, we should have a right to do this. What if the Universities say that the men can’t apply for certain courses, would the reaction still be the same? The men would be offended, wouldn’t they? Education is for everyone, not just for men! Women have rights too! Why are we getting stopped from doing the things that we want to do just because we are a certain sex?

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  19. My opinion on whether women should or should not be banned from university is that no women should not be banned, everybody has the right to an education. Discrimination is one thing but for it to affect their learning so they can no longer have an education is wrong. Woman should be able to have an education, they are no different from men and they should not be treated differently. Women should be able to learn the same and get the same affects out of university. The government is basically saying that women cannot participate in hotel management, computer science, electrical engineering, woman can do just as much as men can.

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  20. Women shouldn’t be banned from university because they have the right to be educated further as well as men. Women are just as smart and intelligent as men and can be a lot smarter than men so why ban them from university? It is sexist to say that they should be banned and not much point. Everyone has equal rights and if women want to attend university they can its their career they want to pursue and they should be allowed to pursue it.

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  21. I believe that taking away Women’s rights to learn is wrong. It’s sexiest that the Government thinks of that women don’t have the ability to learn and go to universities. They have the right to attend university courses as much as the men do, women don’t deserve this such discrimination nor does anyone else. It’s unexpected that the Government of Iran could do this to women, holding back their education? The Government shouldn’t have the right to take away women’s learning, it’s just sexiest towards women of Iran. They should all be treated equally, it is a very stupid decision to make. Hopefully the government of Iran thinks again on what they have done…

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    • So what can be done about it Nick? Anything? Does the Iranian Government care what others think? Perhaps trying to understand WHY they have done this might be the place to start working out what can be done to change it? What do you think?

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  22. Women shouldn’t be banned from university because they have every right to get the same education as men. It is sexist to ban them from university, everyone has equal rights, if women want to attend university they have rights because they want to do good in life and have a good career.

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  23. Women shouldnt be banned because everyone in australia has a right to learn and study. If they want to learn they should be aloud to. They are only trying to set up a better furture for themselves.You dont want the government to be sexist and they have as much rights as a man does.Anyone should be aloud to learn and no one should be aloud to stop that. Everyone is equal.

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  24. woman should not be banned from going to university. they should be allowed to do whatever they want in life. the more people we have that go to university is a good thing. we want people to o to university because that means there will be smarter people and they will do better in life.
    woman should get the same education as men, woman are no different, they have rights too.

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  25. i do not think that women should be banned from entering university because there are many women that have always wanted to become a teacher or to work in the engineering industry, but if they do not allow women to go to university they will not be able to do their dream job.

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  26. Women shouldn’t be banned from being able to pursue a professional career of there choice. It is sexist to believe that women should not be aloud to attend university, all women deserve to be treated as equals. Women can be just as intelligent and creative as men so why should they be treated any different.This would also be a major setback for the Iranian government to have a lesser number of educated Women that have had the necessary skills and educational components to succeed in life taken away from them.

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  27. i think that it is disgraceful that this has even happened. we are all human and we should all be treated equally. this is a sort of discrimination and expectational when it is happening at university where people are there to study and succeed in what area they want to succeed in. i just find this outrages and this should not be happening.

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  28. i think this a very disgraceful thing to of happened. men and women should be treated equally, this is a very sexiest and discriminating towards women. Women should have the rights to become whatever they want, they should shows their skills in different jobs and make a living for themselves in countries like iran.

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  29. I think it doesn’t amount the gender because women have the same right as men do, so they should be allowed to qualify for education.
    I think it is not right what the government is doing because it is treating women with less respect.

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  30. I think it doesn’t matter about the gender because women have the same right as men do, so they should be allowed to qualify for the education the want to do no matter what it is. Because all the matter is that you get a good education. It’s disgraceful that this is happening in colleges and to women who want a good education but they can’t because of the government
    I think it is not right what the government is doing because it is being sexiest to women. This is why I think women shouldn’t be banned from having a good education.

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  31. I believe that it should matter what gender you are, and that it shouldn’t depend whether you get into university or not. The main reason you should get into these courses at the university is because you have the required skills to do so and that you have studied for it. That should be the only reason, that you have the knowledge and skills within that area and that you should not get into a university because you are a female.

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  32. I think this Is very wrong because its not like we can chose if we are a male or female, everyone should get the education that they need no matter what gender they are. Men should not get the right to learn more things then women everyone should have equal rights. This is very discriminating and sexist to women it should be on learning not gender! The government need to change there ways and stop this because it is very unfair and treating women with no respect! gender should not be one of the factors that qualifies someone from entry to education the Governments have no right to make such decisions!

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  33. i think that this article is outrages as because everyone should all have a fair go at whatever thay want to do expectionally at universitys. this is also sexist which should not be happening and i think that as we are all human there shouldnt be things that just girls or just boys can do cause we are all capable at doing that area of work.

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  34. I do not know why people think that men should have priority over women in our society. There are no academic differences between men and women. Women should be able to go to university in all countries and have the opportunities that they deserve. Women going to university can also help out the economy because more jobs can be created by jobs being filled by women.

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  35. I beleive taking away a womens right from education is wrong because most of the populations teachers are women in Australia most girls put in more effort in their work than men. Women shouldnt be banned from education they have every right to an educaton its just sexist. In this day and age I thought that men and women have equal rights.

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  36. I believe that everyone has a right to a good education. It shouldn’t matter what gender you are because education should be a universal thing. There is no statistics saying that men perform better than women in English, maths and science. Gender has nothing to do with who should have a right to an education because it counts on who the person is and how much motivation they have to succeed not because of their gender. It depends on the individual’s work ethic, what doesn’t matter is their gender, religion, race or sexuality. Gender has nothing to do with education and women definitely shouldn’t be discriminated just because they are women.

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  37. This is so sexist. It’s education we’re talking about, everyone should have the right to learn and continue schooling and learning in any way they want, no matter what sex they are! any discrimination that could ban someone from schooling with them for something they can’t change weather is be race, sexuality,religion, anything, is not good at all! but sex is definitely not okay!

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  38. Why does everything that people do these days, end in a competition between males and females? Everyone has a right to a good education; no one should have it taken away from them just because of their gender. People say that females are smarter in some subjects and males in others, but all females and males can be good at exactly the same things. Men and women should have equal rights; they should be able to be educated in whatever way they want.

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  39. I think this is one of the most stupid things of the Iran government to do. Women have just as much chance of doing the same job with the same quality. This is also sort of ruins human rights by taking away women’s rights of a proper education. This outrageous act is also very sexiest of Iran which the world views as sexiest as well. I think that every government should be the striped of the power to ban women of certain subjects in university. They should be allowed to do just about whatever they want with no problems.

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  40. The face that these courses aren’t avaliabe for everyone seems quite stupid, the latter of then don’t even seem like they’re pinned to men as a job choice, it doesn’t seem like they even had a big disscussion about this issue.

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  41. I definitely do not agree with the decision the Iranian government made, because men and women should be treated the same, therefore be able to go to whatever course they want no matter their gender!! I simply find the decision they made brainless, because clearly they are not treating women and men the same.

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  42. I think their country can sort that out themselves otherwise I’m not really that bothered with the whole thing but I guess some women should have some freedom.

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