Several Iranian universities banning women from graduating or enrolling in coursework.
Having worked in Afghanistan I noticed a familiar trend within our HR department. We were reluctant to hire women. In fact women were regulated to the roles of cooking and cleaning and the one female Afghan we had in a leadership position was an Afghan raised in the US and placed in that role by the home office in Washington DC.
Often times I heard the rallying cry that Afghanistan is the graveyard of nations. They have fought the Mongols, the British (The First Anglo–Afghan War fought between British India and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Anglo–Afghan War fought between the United Kingdom and Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880) and of course the current conflict. Seems that the war on women is unlimited in central asia to be sure.
All too frequently we hear that culture is the sacrosanct third-rail that cannot be touched when dealing with moral taboos in other countries. But is it really culture or is it something else? What would happen to these cultures if women held greater roles in the manifestation not only of their destinies but their national outcomes? Would these cultures collapse, be re-shaped and re-defined or these societies disintegrate to the folly of liberal democratic reform?
Pernicious and reactionary to be sure it is clear that of all the enemies many of these cultures face is themselves. Before taking on further great foreign powers it would not be a waste of time reflecting on how the other 50% of ones own population could bring to the table if they were unleashed.