Tuesday , 4 October 2022

Authorities Further Police Iranian Women’s Dress Code

HRW – In the past month, Iranian authorities have sought to implement new restrictions on women’s dress code and further enforces the hijab and chastity laws. While according to Mohammad Saleh Hashemi Golpaygani, the head of the headquarters to promote virtue, the new policy will change not wearing proper hijab from a criminal offense to a fine, women who post pictures of themselves without a hijab online, according to the new policy, can face serious repercussions. For example, female government employees must have profile pictures that conform to Islamic laws or risk being fired. These changes come as authorities launch a renewed crackdown against women’s efforts to push back on compulsory hijab laws and women’s rights activists in Iran.

Over the past months, several videos in which security forces or other people use of violence against women who do not comply with hijab have become viral on social media.

In one, two women are seen arguing over what appears to be one of them trying to force the other to comply with hijab laws. Following the publication of the video, on July 16 authorities arrested Sepide Rashno, the woman who was subjected to the harassment for not complying with compulsory hijab laws. On July 30, Rashno appeared on State TV apologizing to the other woman while looking pale and not well. HRA reported prior to the televised confession, Rashno was taken to the hospital for internal bleeding. Iranian authorities have a long record of coercing detainees into making false televised confessions.

Authorities’ detention of Rashno and other women for their choice of dress has drawn widespread criticism and condemnation with hundreds of thousands of Instagram users posting their photos with the phrase: “Join us in unity: We oppose compulsory hijab.” 

The recent clamp-down on women’s dress code is a stark contrast to the lack of action by the Iranian government to address key issues such as domestic abuse and the increase in femicides. The Iranian parliament has yet to adopt the draft law on “Protection, Dignity and Security of Women against Violence.”