More and more women, many of whom have not experienced the 1979 revolution, have been risking fines and even prison sentences for violating the hijab rules.
Ramin Jahanbegloo, Professor & Vice Dean and Executive Director, Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The custodial death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran, has sparked widespread protests in Iran. Under the scanner are the police who patrol public places to enforce the headscarf law and other Islamic rules. Conversations are also taking place on the situation of women in the Islamic Republic.
Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, women have been required by law to wear a veil covering their head and neck and conceal their hair. Over the past two decades, however, more and more women in Tehran and other major cities of Iran have been letting strands of hair outside their veil as a form of protest. More recently, some women have been sharing photos that show them taking off headscarves in opposition to the hijab rules.
The struggle against compulsory headscarves first made headlines in December 2017 when a young woman, Vida Movahed, waved her hijab on a stick at Tehran’s Revolution Street. Then, on July 12, this year – the Hijab and Chastity Day on the Islamic Republic’s calendar — different groups of women took part in a national civil disobedience campaign against the mandatory headgear. More and more women, many of whom have not experienced the 1979 revolution, have been risking fines and even prison sentences for violating the hijab rules.
The Iranian Revolution, which ended with the victory of the Islamists and the creation of the Islamic Republic, was marked by a noticeable presence of women. Thousands of young women joined the Islamist and leftist political groups. In his interviews with foreign journalists before returning to Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini praised women for their involvement in the revolution.
Published in: The Indian Express
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