Iran's New Plan To Boost Population: Students Who Get Pregnant Get Higher Grades
The Iranian regime has been trying different methods to encourage people to have children. Most have failed, for economic reasons.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believes that population growth makes for a nation's strength, and he wants Iran's to be replenished and increased.
That has reshaped state policies for some years now in favor of marriage and procreation and against contraception, abortion and Western-style single living. The higher education ministry now wants to do its part, and has informed universities that teaching staff can expect promotional credits "for every pregnant student" or mother-and-toddler student in their class.
The directive dated April 25 is in line with the Law to Safeguard the Family and Rejuvenate the Population, and applies to all higher education institutions. It effectively means lecturers keen to obey the state may beat quality academics to professorial positions.
A family walking in the streets of Iran.
The population law, and these instructions are sourced from the General Population Policies designed by Khamenei in May 2014. Not that the state has gotten far boosting the population by diktat.
Worsening economic conditions, as well as reports of pervasive depression among youngsters, particularly women, are doing a better job of dissuading Iranians from having more children. In 2016, the head of the country's statistics agency was cited as saying that every year, there were fewer marriages and the marriage age was rising.
Abortion figures in Iran are "calamitous".
In April-May 2021, Hamed Barakati, a health ministry official, noted that total births in Iran had dropped from 1.57 million in the Persian year to March 20, 2016 to 1.12 million in the year to March 20, 2021. Marriages, he said then, dropped from a little under 900,000 a year to around 500,000 broadly in the 2011-21 decade. Abortions however, while illegal, have spiked, and 70-80% were done illegally, according to another ministry official, Suleiman Heidari.
Speaking last month to the ISNA news agency, he described abortion figures in Iran as "calamitous".