Podcast 59: Nayereh Tohidi on Women and Higher Education in Iran
Iran was one of the first countries in the Middle East to allow women to study at university, and since the 1990s, more than 60 percent of Iran’s university students have been women.
But at the start of the new Iranian academic year this past September, the government began imposing restrictions on university students, and the most affected are women. More than 30 universities introduced new rules banning female students from almost nearly 80 different degree courses – from engineering, nuclear physics and computer science, to English literature, archaeology and business.
The new rules also include quotas that limit the percentage of women students in certain fields of study, as well as segregation in classrooms and facilities. This means many women will no longer be able to pursue the education and careers of their choice.
Our guest today is Dr. Nayareh Tohidi, Professor of Gender & Women Studies at California State University, Northridge. She is also the Research Associate at the Center for Near Eastern Studies of UCLA where she has been coordinating the Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran since 2003.