Reddit thread on why there's so Iranian scientists are women: "Iranian here. Let me tell you why. Young men don't trust education as the future path to financial safety any more. Everyone wants to get into some business (father- uncle- family friend's) and start making money at an early age. Men are the bread-winners in Iran. It's not just a preference or norm- it's a societal mandate. Women on the other hand don't need to (or have to) choose work. For them to pull themselves up in the society and "shine" higher education is the safest path. For a lot of young girls- that's also the only way they can get away from traditional family and very often delay marriage."
70% of Iran's science and engineering students are not men- but women.