Iran: 40% of applicants for Ph.D. are women
More than 40 percent of those applying for the doctorate term in universities are women.
There was an upsurge in women continuing their university studies to Master’s Degree in 2009, and this advanced to the Ph.D. level in 2012.
In the beginning of the ninth government presided by Ahmadinejad in 2005, the presence of women in universities reached 60 percent.
However, those in charge of the education ministry reacted to this trend by launching restrictive programs such as the ‘discrimination quota’ and ‘gender discrimination’.
The ninth and tenth government’s measures against women in the educational field include launching gender discrimination plans, banning female students from several technical and engineering majors such as ‘mine and oil engineering’, or the elimination of ‘women’s studies’, and giving women a very small quota for management positions and membership in scientific delegations. Based on present official figures published by the country’s Education Evaluation Organization, only 17 percent of the female applicants for Master’s Degree are taken to credible state-owned universities.
The comparison of this figure with the 60 percent presence of girls in the national pre-university examination and gender-based acceptance policies shows that girls have a decreasing chance of entering credible public universities. Based on the statistics published in 2011, women make up 44 percent of those registered in private institutions and 41 percent of universities. In the same year, women made up only 44 percent of those registered for in-class university courses, 46 percent of those registered for Master’s Degree and 42 percent for Ph.D.
Mohammad Hossein Nejati acknowledged the ‘lack of women’s freedom for continuing education’ as a cause for this figure. Based on these statistics, currently around 20 percent of the ‘full time science delegations’ in public universities, 23 percent of all ‘scientific delegations’ and 24 percent of ‘all government and non-government delegations’ are women. In provinces such as Qom and Kohkiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, women’s quota in such delegations is even less than 15 percent. In the 12 deprived provinces of the country, the quota is less than 20 percent.
During the past few years not only have no efforts been taken to increase the presence of women in the scientific delegations of the universities, but other measures such as gender segregation and restrictions for accepting girls in universities have been carried out, which has reduced their share in the scientific delegations. (Radio Zamaneh – March 24, 2014)