Sunday , 21 April 2024

Iran’s “Hijab and Chastity Bill” Goes Back to Guardian Council

Iranwire – The Islamic Republic’s parliament has once again forwarded the contentious “Hijab and Chastity Bill” to the Guardian Council, after President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration committed to allocate the necessary budget for its implementation.

The review of the proposed legislation in parliament has been marked by controversy and delays. 

The bill, aimed at enforcing stricter adherence to mandatory hijab rules, has faced repeated rejections from the Guardian Council due to inconsistencies, ambiguities and over 142 errors.

Hassan Nowrozi, a member of the parliament’s legal and judicial commission, deemed the bill not to be the handiwork of the chamber and said: “Some people and movements have manipulated this bill.”

Morteza Agha Tehrani, head of the parliament’s cultural commission, told ILNA news agency that “concerning the ‘Hijab and Chastity Bill,’ we have imposed a budget on the government.” 

“Finally, Mr. Raisi accepted, signed and delivered it, making it possible to proceed to the final stage,” he added. 

The bill, which was presented to parliament on May 24 last year by Raisi’s government, 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. They could also lose their jobs and be banned from social media activities for up to one year. 

Repeat offenders would face imprisonment to up 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.” 

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. 

The Ministry of Interior has intensified pressure to enforce the hijab law, deploying enforcers on the streets, imposing fines on women who refuse to wear a headscarf, confiscating their cars and denying them government services.