Tehran: In a controversial move, Iran’s parliament has passed a bill that would increase prison terms and fines for women and girls who break its strict dress code. The bill was passed on grounds that it could violate the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code since the outbreak of anti-hijab protests. AFP news agency reported that the legislature has made it clear that the women are not wearing modest clothing now and it won’t accept this anymore.
Under the draft law, women who fail to wear a headscarf or appropriate clothing will face 5 to 10 years in prison. The bill also proposes to penalize work that “promotes nudity” or “makes fun of the hijab” on media and social networks. Owners of vehicles will also be fined if a woman travelling in it does not wear hijab or is not properly dressed. The channels should broadcast programs that present Islamic lifestyle. The news agency reported that the bill also stipulates that chastity and hijab should be taken into account when selecting students for university admission.
Head and neck covering have been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. There is a desperate attempt to impose the hijab on the part of the Islamic ruling class. Business establishments have been closed for non-compliance and surveillance cameras have been installed in public places to monitor violations.
The anti-hijab protest in Iran started after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by the religious police for not wearing a headscarf. Hundreds of people, including dozens of security personnel, were killed. The Iranian government has accused foreign forces behind the uprising. Earlier this month, eight independent UN human rights experts described the bill as ‘gender apartheid’. Experts have also pointed out that the bill is a violation of fundamental rights, including the right to participate in cultural life, gender discrimination, and the right to social and educational access.