Iranian Woman Without Hijab
Each country has different dress codes and cultural customs that appear scary or weird initially but should be observed if you want to fit in and feel at ease. Iran has a strict clothing code that visitors and locals must abide by because it is an Islamic nation.
Iranian dress code has been one of the critical concerns for visitors due to the numerous rumors circulated in the media. While many celebrities hired in Iran were trying to show that hijab is not as strict as claimed, the sudden death of Mahsa Amini changed the issue. Over the two years, we have witnessed cases where women and their partners were harassed because of the hijab. In this article, we intend to argue this issue from different perspectives and inspect Hijab in Iran.
The Story of Compulsory Hijab in Iran
From 1941 until 1979, no regulation dictated what women should wear. Yet, many women continued to do so, either as a protest against the monarchy or because patriarchal ideals like Namus (honour) and the strict control of male family members limited their options.
The hijab law was first proposed during the Islamic revolution of 1979. On March 8, 1979, tens of thousands of Iranian women took to the streets to protest the imposition of the headscarf, chanting slogans like “freedom of choice in clothing.” Starting in April 1983, all Iranian women were required to wear the headscarf. Since that time, all women—including non-Muslims and foreign visitors to Iran—have been required by law to cover their heads in public.
The Islamic government has increased the number of legislation and social constraints that must be followed to implement hijab laws throughout time. The 1990s saw the introduction of criminal penalties, including jail time and fines.
Starting in January 2018, Tehran’s policing of women’s attire underwent a different change. As per the new mandate, women who disobeyed the Islamic clothing code were now subject to Islam education classes rather than penalties or incarceration.
In these situations, ladies are typically escorted to a police van and subsequently to a lesson by the morality police, Gasht-e Ershad. The ladies are then made to sign a pledge that they won’t repeat the “bad hijab” offences. They are coerced into participating in police-organized “advice” to teach them about upholding Islamic principles. This new regulation only applies to Tehran, the capital, yet even there, women who frequently violated the dress restriction could still face legal repercussions.
The fact that the crime of “bad hijab” or “improper hijab” is not defined by the law is a significant legal concern, in addition to the discriminatory elements of the mandated clothing code. Due to the law’s ambiguous wording, enforcers like the morality police are free to choose how to apply it and discriminate against women.
Mahsa Amini and Crisis after her Death
One of the most well-known ladies in 2022 passed away without realizing her influence on the planet. On September 13, Jina “Mahsa” Amini, age 22, was detained by Iran’s morality police for “improperly” donning her headscarf. Her relatives and the local media claim that she was severely abused during this time. Three days later, while still in police custody, she passed away.
Protests broke out throughout Iran after news of the tragic death, due in part to reporters Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who the Iranian dictatorship has subsequently imprisoned. Women who chopped their hair tore off their hijabs and adopted the rallying cries “women, life, freedom” led them.
Amini, a resident of the Kurdish city of Saqez in the northwest, passed away three days after being hospitalized after going into a coma. It provoked the first significant display of resistance on Iranian streets since 2019’s government crackdown on fuel price demonstrations, which resulted in 1,500 fatalities.
According to the information given by his brother, the Guidance Patrol team had informed him that Mahsa, his sister, would be transported to the detention centre for a quick investigation. Instead, she was transported by ambulance to Kasra Hospital. She was hospitalized at Kasra Hospital in Tehran for over two and a half days in a severe coma. Sadly, she passed away on September 16, and the public erupted in anger against the police and the administration.
According to a statement posted on Instagram by hospital officials, Mahsa Amini was already brain dead when she arrived at the facility. But the Instagram post was taken down shortly after. Her head and legs had numerous bruises, which her brother had observed.
She was severely beaten for defying the cops’ insults and slurs, according to the other victims who were also jailed. Amini had bruises behind her eyes, bleeding from her ears, and, according to some specialists, a brain injury.
Dismantling Morality Police after the Protests
After the protests and increasing objections from international human rights communities, finally, the morality police were dismantled. From a report published by a newspaper close to conservative parties, the Islamic parliament closed the door of the morality police. Many feminists believe this was just a show from the Islamic State and the government will use other methods to force women to wear hijabs. At the time of writing this article, a new form of police was used in order to force women to wear the hijab. In this new law, police will fine women whose scarf is not worn adequately in the car.
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