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Iran's Stay-At-Home Engineers

An adviser to Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has said that female engineers can serve society from home.

Zahra Sajadi, who advises Ahmadinejad on cultural and educational issues, has expressed concern at the rise in the number of women enrolling in higher education, saying that it has caused a crisis in the job market.

She has also called on the government to limit the admission of women in universities to decrease what she described as social and mental pressure in society.

(She didn't say women are under pressure, but rather it seems that she means men are under pressure because if the trend continues many of them would be less educated than women)

Sajadi has also said that the employment of women in areas other than the health and education sectors is not necessary, arguing that women who are employed in the technical and engineering sectors can work from home.

Sajadi's comments are very much in line with the views of President Ahmadinejad, who shortly after taking power said that women should devote more time to raising children. He also suggested that women could work part-time to spend more time at home.

The question is whether the Iranian government is concerned about the country's educated women because they're pushing for more rights and becoming an increasingly vocal force, or whether the government thinks it's just a socially acceptable way to help alleviate the country's high unemployment.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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