Iran’s Education Minister Reza Morad Sahraei said "textbooks must be differentiated for girls and boys, and modesty must be institutionalized throughout society."
He added that the Islamic Republic does not accept "Eastern views" of women and girls, nor does it accept "feminism", which he deems "perverted”, in comments which come amidst tightening hijab and chastity laws in Iran.
His comments were criticized by a former cabinet member. Former deputy of Iran's Ministry of Education Ibrahim Saharkhiz said gender cannot be a factor in mathematics, science, and literature, highlighting there are greater challenges in the regime's education system like its mass teacher shortage "of 300,000 teachers [which] must be addressed first, then the gender issues of students."
He was not alone in his criticism which swelled on social media. In the wake of the Women, Life, Freedom protests, a growing number of men and women in Iran are speaking out against the Islamic Republic's crackdown on hijab and women's freedoms.
Iranian journalist Maryam Lotfi, wrote on her X account: "No matter how much some families try to reduce gender stereotypes in their children, the educational system undermines their efforts.”
Sahraei responded to the criticisms on Monday, stating: "The social needs of girls and boys are different from each other, and religious and educational books are different in some cases; as well as the needs of girls' and boys' schools."
The regime’s attempt to implement a gender-segregated curriculum follows the women-led uprising which began in the wake of the death of Mahsa Amini, which saw thousands of female students chanting slogans against the government and tearing photos of Iran’s current leader Ali Khamenei and Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.