Iranian women have been killing it in the classroom as of late: 65% of the country's college students are female, women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year's university entrance exam, and, according to UNESCO, Iran has highest ratio of female to male undergraduates in the world.
This will not do, so Iranian clerics have introduced new policies prompting 36 universities to make 77 BA and BSc courses "single gender" — and by that they really mean "men only." According to the Telegraph, starting next year, the country's women will be barred from studying English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business management.
Kamran Daneshjoo, Iran's Science and Higher Education Minister, said that 90% of degrees are still open to both sexes and that the single-gender courses were necessary to restore "balance." Because god forbid women take such excellent advantage of the relatively new opportunities that many attribute to the 1979 Islamic revolution.
In response, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebad has called for a UN investigation into the new policies. "[It] is part of the recent policy of the Islamic Republic, which tries to return women to the private domain inside the home as it cannot tolerate their passionate presence in the public arena," she wrote in a letter to officials including Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary general, and Navi Pillay, the high commissioner for human rights. "The aim is that women will give up their opposition and demands for their own rights."
Anger as Iran bans women from universities [Daily Telegraph]