2 comments on “Anger as Iran bans women from universities

  1. Very nice. I must ask what would have happened if HR had encouraged the hiring of women in more advanced office roles? What kind of reaction would have ensued? Would the women who were working for you be punished or possibly killed?

    • That happened in some cases if we didn’t have a dedicated vehicle that would act as a taxi/bus for pick-up and drop-off. Those who left on their own or didn’t conceal themselves in burquas were seen as collaborators and were threatened on their little Nokia’s late at night or were shot in the cab. If they left with our vehicle they made it home.

      I noticed that several of the women who appeared for the job were nervous during our recruitment panel, didn’t speak english or had some other restriction. Higher profile positions for the women who DID apply weren’t selected at times but other members of the committee and sometimes they weren’t even Afghans but an American colleague.

      The women who did work in the office would of course collect or congregate together and would work in open office spaces with their male colleagues but there was a natural separation overall. The men and the women do speak to each other of course but not in any way that is similar to western office spaces of course.

      We have had strong females in upper management positions but they are largely expats or from a non-western country like the Phillipines. I didn’t see Afghan women frequently elevated to positions of leadership (again, unless they were raised in the US or in the West). So it doesn’t come as a surprise to find this sort of thing happening in Iran despite the fact that I’ve been reminded over and over about the differences between the two countries, their histories, tribal differences, music, food, cooking, relgious practices etc. You’ll still find things in common like this bias.

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