Women in the Islamic Republic of Iran
In Azar Nafisi’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran”, one of the biggest concentrations in her story is the status of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nafisi tells the unfortunate story of the consistent oppression, inequality, and denial of self expression the women face on a daily basis. These constant restrictions on their lives hinder their ability to be productive, happy members of society.
One of the biggest limitations on women in Iran is their ability to receive a quality higher education. The women who are able to receive an education tend to study in fields such as humanities, education, health related fields and social sciences. While the fact that they are receiving some education is good, the fields women typically study do not produce much money after they graduate. The even sadder part is that many women only attend universities to find potential husbands. The men who attend universities with the women are typically approved of by the women’s parents and society in general. Directly, attending school to find a man is seen as a better way to find a husband than an arranged marriage. If it weren’t for this fact, the number of women in universities would almost certainly drop because there would be no reason for a woman to spend 4 years learning skills that would go to no use at home. Ironically, former Iranian President Rafsanjani responded to pressure on limiting women’s access to universities by stating that, “If we have one educated mother without a job she will be effective in the society because of the children that she will educate” (Salehi-Isfahani).
The argument in Iran about education is that the number of women attending universities is greater than the number of men; however, the women do not seem to be taking cherished spots in universities away from men. Women typically study fields that lead to low paying jobs, and are in most cases unable to even get jobs after graduation, especially after...