Iranwire – The Iranian news website Entekhab published the complete text of the “Chastity and Hijab” bill, sparking heated debate among the public about personal liberties, women’s rights and the extent of government control.
The bill, which was presented to parliament on May 24 by the government of Ebrahim Raisi, outlines severe penalties for women who violate mandatory headscarf rules.
Non-compliance with the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code is deemed as “nudity.”
Offenders could face fines of up to 8 million tomans ($150), with the fines being doubled if not paid within a month, lose their jobs and be banned from social media activities for up to one year.
And repeat offenders would face imprisonment from six months to three years.
The “Chastity and Hijab” bill has gained support from some officials of the Islamic Republic who consider the hijab a “red line.”
Detractors argue that the proposed law focuses on punitive measures, restricts personal freedoms and unjustly interferes with individuals’ clothing choices.
The controversial bill was drafted following months-long nationwide protests demanding more freedoms and women’s rights.
All women in Iran must conceal their hair with a headscarf and wear loose fitting trousers under their coats while in public, but a growing number of Iranian women have appeared in public without head coverings.
In response, authorities have closed down hundreds of businesses due to the failure of owners or managers to observe hijab rules, and taxi drivers have been fined for transporting women without headscarves. Police and volunteers issue warnings in subways, airports and other public places. Text messages have targeted drivers who had women without head covering in their vehicles.