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Women’s Significant Progress in Education
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Women’s Significant Progress in Education

The last three decades have been golden years for women’s education in Iran. The number of women at universities has tripled. Women, who comprised merely 31% of university students in 1977, went on to outperform men in higher education – with 69% of university students being women in 2007. The gap between men and women continues to narrow, and the number of women and men in universities has come closer to striking a balance.  
Although women’s share of the job market should be improved, their numbers in higher education are encouraging. Except at the PhD level where men are ahead by a small margin, figures show that women outnumber men in other areas: 59% of applicants for the 2014 national university entrance exam were women.
Women’s access to education has led to equal opportunities in several spheres of the job market. This comes as women have had to overcome obstacles and defy odds against them, including special quotas for men in some engineering majors that practically bar women’s entry, and their paltry share in vacancies in the public sector, according to khabaronline.
Their significant achievements in education notwithstanding, women still are hit harder by unemployment than men.
At the World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal, April 2000), which was the first and most important event in education at the dawn of the new century, 164 counties pledged to achieve 6 major goals by 2015: education and protection for children, universal education, adult literacy, gender equality in access to education and  quality of education.
Now that the 2015 UNESCO report is out, it indicates that just one-third of countries have achieved all the measurable education goals set in 2000 and only half of all countries have achieved universal primary enrolment. The report found that 47 percent reached the goal of early childhood education, and another 8% were close.  As far as achieving universal primary education, particularly for girls, ethnic minorities and marginalized children, 52% of countries met this goal, 10% are close and the remaining 38% “are far or very far from achieving it.” This leaves almost 100 million children not completing primary education in 2015.

  New Doors
Iran has gained an average spot by ranking 69 among the world countries in providing universal primary education. And as announced by the head of Iran’s Literacy Movement Organization (LMO) there are still 10 million illiterate people in the country. The UNESCO report indicates that Iran has not been able to meet its goal of reducing its illiteracy rate by half during the 15-year period.  
But statistics suggest the increase in the number of female university students and the UN report confirms that Iran has made progress “in fits and starts in opening new doors for women to be educated.”

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