He, She but not We

Dancing and singing, mingling with opposite gender playmates; these can be primary hobbies of children under 7 years old going to kindergartens but in what has recently been  defined as” Islamized kindergartens” these very basic entertainments are forbidden in the kindergartens in Iran.

Willingness of Iran regime to have “Islamized” communities and learning environments is not a new trend and is not limited to kindergartens. Although it has been radically valued during the last 5 years, having Islamized universities was first suggested after Islamic revolution 1979. This approach is aimed in two ways: segregating educational environments followed by gendering university atmosphere

Design By: Maryam Firoozi

and changing the contents of the books to follow Islamic patterns as much as possible.

Gender discrimination at the universities in Iran is rooted early in the Islamic revolution in 1979 when female university applicants were prohibited from choosing 91 university degree courses out of total 169 available degrees, usually in engineering fields. Although some changes were amended to increase the women options 9 years later in 1988 and permitted women to enroll in more varied university courses. Again in 2003 a limitation of 50 percent was suggested, in which just 50 percent of accepted applicants could be women regardless of their ranking in university entrance exams. This limitation was implemented   in agricultural related degrees, mining engineering, medicine, physiotherapy and material engineering. Meanwhile, women right activists with support of some reformist members of parliament succeeded to prevent this to be finalized and implemented.

In 2008 some parliament members stated that the 65% of university women university student is threaten for the culture of the country and it should change, this trend resulted in segregation in majoring at the university degrees.

Changing the content of the books in primary schools by designing different syllabuses for boys and girls is another example of gendering in learning environments since the early stages.

Recently, this approach at the universities is implemented mostly in social science related courses to prohibit the study of philosophy of west and limiting the majors in philosophy to Erfan and Islamic philosophy.

According to the ministry of Culture and Higher Education, right before the Islamic revolution and subsequent closure of all the universities in 1980, there were 16,222 professors teaching in Iran’s higher education institutions. When the universities re-opened in 1982, this figure had plummeted to 9042 due to what is called brain drain and considerable migration of scholars, students, entrepreneurs to mostly European countries and US due to limited learning and working opportunities. The pressure of fitting segregated studying areas, class rooms, libraries, food courts, cafes and etc, in most of the universities started after Islamic revolution after reopening of the universities and now it is told to plan building new universities where male and female students will study in totally separated buildings.

In general, this new trend of segregation in the kindergartens is worrying many parents. Next generation of Iranian youth is now exposed to radical Islamic patterns and have less opportunity to communicate and socialize with opposite sex, an approach which is not appreciated by many Iranian families though they are known as Muslims.

May 17, 2012 · Maryam Khazaeli · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Social Life, Women