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Economy and Gender Inequality in Iran

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Iran: Gender and Education, Politics, and Economy
Gender inequality is an issue that a large number of countries have faced, and many are still facing. Unequal treatment of the two genders can occur in settings such as: sexual, social, private, professional, educational, etc. Some countries, more than others, seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle as they strive to achieve gender equality. Iran is a country that has had its’ ups and downs in search for gender equality. This paper will discuss some of the issues the women in Iran have faced concerning education, political changes, and the economy.
According to Snapshots of a Movement, the first school in Iran for girls was established in 1837 in Urumia by American missionaries. Unfortunately, at that time only Christian girls could attend. It wasn’t until the 1870’s that Muslim girls could join. It wasn’t until 1907 that Tehran, Iran’s capital, built their first primary schools for girls. These schools in Tehran were funded by women’s NGOs. In 1918 the first Teacher Education College for girls was set up in Iran’s capital city (Dolatshahi, 2006). Under the Pahlavi dynasty (1921-1979), education changed considerably in Iran. They believed that education could be a contributing factor into making crucial changes (Hayati and Fattahi, 2005). In 1936, Tehran University admitted both males and females. By 1978, one-third of students attending universities in Iran were females (Esfandiari).
In 1979 sex segregation occurred in the schools of Iran as one of the many changes due to the Islamic Revolution. The girls were now forced to wear the Hijab, including to school. In 1980, universities in Iran and some high schools were temporarily shut down to make changes. They ended up being sh...

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...the households had died in war. Other families needed both the mothers and fathers to work in order to get by. In order to survive, political changes had to have been made. Protesting and pressure lead to the reversal of many of the constricting laws recently placed. Bans were lifted off of several university fields allowing women to now pursue them. Even though the bans were lifted, and the economy was better, women still had a harder time getting employment than men.
Iran is a country who has had their ups and downs while searching for gender equality. They are not alone in that search. Women of many countries have had to face issues of gender inequality and for several countries it is an ongoing issue. If Iran can get out of the cycle of moving towards gender equality and then backing away, there is hope that it could become a leading country in women’s rights.
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