Despite systematic discrimination in law and practice as well as widespread social privations and increasing pressures in the family, Iranian women achieved impressive success in nationwide university entrance exams.
Based on official results, 61.3 percent of those accepted in the nationwide exams this year were women. Out of five major fields of study, women came in first in three, experimental sciences, mathematics and technical sciences as well as liberal arts. In two other fields, foreign languages and human sciences, women were among the top five.
Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, Chairwoman of the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, congratulated Iranian women for this impressive success. She reiterated, "Iranian women’s achievements in the realm of education is, before anything else, the by-product of their hard work and tremendous effort, particularly since they are facing serious restrictions in access to educational opportunities and face enormous deprivations in many parts of the country." "These accomplishments have nothing to do with the mullahs having provided them with educational opportunities or accommodations," she added.
Iranian women’s success comes despite the fact that educational opportunities, including teachers, classrooms and books in pre-university institutions, especially in rural areas, are unevenly distributed and a large percentage of women are forced to abandon their studies.
NCRI’s Women’s Committee Chair underscored that despite women’s leading position in higher education, most of those who graduate do not find any jobs such that the number of unemployed women far exceeds their male counterparts. According to official figures, forty percent of educated Iranian women are unemployed. The figure for men in similar situations is 10.6 percent. The actual figure for unemployed educated women is of course much higher.
Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 12, 2005