Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi

Iranian Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi has declared that every Iranian province must establish at least one single-gender hospital.

ISNA reports that Dastjerdi said: “Many provinces and universities have begun establishing women-only hospitals, and those which have not begun work on it are required to establish at least one single-gender hospital soon.”

She added that “making female patients comfortable” is the main goal of single-gender hospitals, where all medical personnel are female.

Dastjerdi said: “Fortunately, already three hospitals in Tehran are providing services to women on a single-gender basis.”

Islamic Republic authorities have become increasingly strict in their enforcement of a division of public services based on gender and social morality regulation. The trend began after the country faced widespread protests in 2009 following the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Single-gendered hospitals, universities and even daycares are among the initiatives taken in the past year.