Las mujeres y la teocracia iraní

PRINCETON – Mi abuela fue una de las primeras mujeres que estudió matemática y física en la Universidad de Viena. Cuando se graduó, en 1905, la universidad la nominó para recibir su más alto galardón, que se destacaba por la entrega de un anillo grabado con las iniciales del emperador. Pero antes de ella, ninguna mujer había sido nominada para recibir ese honor, y el emperador Francisco José se negó a otorgarle el premio.

Ya pasó más de un siglo, y uno tiende a suponer que a estas alturas, la creencia en que las mujeres no son idóneas para disfrutar de los niveles educativos más altos en cualquier disciplina debería ser cosa del pasado. Resulta por tanto muy preocupante la noticia de que más de 30 universidades iraníes han prohibido la inscripción de mujeres en más de 70 cursos, que incluyen temas como ingeniería, física nuclear, informática, literatura inglesa, arqueología y administración de empresas. Según Shirin Ebadi, abogada y activista de derechos humanos iraní galardonada con el premio Nobel de la Paz, las restricciones son parte de una política del gobierno tendiente a limitar las oportunidades de las mujeres fuera del hogar.

Estas prohibiciones encierran mucha ironía, ya que según la UNESCO, Irán es el país con la mayor proporción de mujeres en los padrones universitarios. El año pasado, de todos los estudiantes que aprobaron los exámenes universitarios, las mujeres constituyeron el 60%; además, les fue muy bien en disciplinas tradicionalmente dominadas por los varones, como la ingeniería.

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