Washington: The United States has urged Iran to protect women rights as it expressed concern over news reports that 36 Iranian universities have banned women from 77 fields of study.
"This decision represents a significant regression for women in Iran, who have outnumbered men in universities for over a decade, and will further restrict the ability of Iranian women to find employment," the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said.
Nuland said a number of university deans have justified their actions by stating that certain courses have a "manly nature" and are not suitable for women, while Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo has called the segregation effort a top priority to protect morality.
"These statements undermine the efforts of Iranian women to freely determine their futures and diminish the potential of the Iranian workforce," she said.
"We call upon Iranian authorities to protect women`s rights and to uphold Iran`s own laws and international obligations which guarantee non-discrimination in all areas of life, including access to education," Nuland said in a statement.