Home World The marginalization of non-veiled women in Iran

The marginalization of non-veiled women in Iran

A woman walks in the Tajrish Bazaar in Tehran, Iran, without a veil and with her purple hair in the air

James Leon |

Tehran (BLAZETRENDS).- “We do not provide services to veiled women under any circumstances.” That was the response a young woman received at a Tehran dental clinic, amid a state campaign to get women to wear the hijab in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Maryam, a 22-year-old university student, couldn’t believe it. She has not used the veil for months as a gesture of civil disobedience after the death in September of Mahsa Amini, after being arrested precisely for not wearing her hijab well.

However, faced with a severe toothache, she had no choice but to capitulate and cover herself with her mother’s veil, who accompanied her to the clinic last Saturday, she told BLAZETRENDS.

Once the hair was covered, the dentist examined the patient and performed the root canal as needed.

“I felt mistreated,” says the student.

“The veil should be a personal choice and they should not be able to refuse to treat me,” she says.

A response to those who refuse to cover their hair

Like Maryam, many Iranians have faced taxi drivers refusing to take them, shops where they are not served, or difficulties using public transport because they are not wearing headscarves.

All this highlights the situation in which many Iranians live who have not worn the veil since the Government launched a campaign on April 15 to re-impose the use of this mandatory garment in the country since 1983.

This campaign is a response to the long hair in the wind that is seen on the streets of the country, especially in Tehran, since the death of Amini, which provoked strong protests calling for the end of the Islamic Republic shouting “woman , life, freedom”.

The protests managed to put an end to the so-called Morale Police, which monitored compliance with the country’s strict dress regulations, and now the authorities resort to other methods to enforce them.

These methods include the use of cameras to identify offenders on the street or in a car, as well as prohibiting them from being served in shops or restaurants, receiving education or using public transport.

Thus, the authorities have placed guards at the doors of the Tehran metro and universities to ensure that women enter covered and warn those who are not.

Once inside, many women choose to remove their headscarves, sources from educational centers told BLAZETRENDS.

At the moment it has not transpired that education has been denied to young people for not using it.

Pressure on business

But the biggest pressure is falling on private businesses. Since April 15, thousands of restaurants, shops or businesses of all kinds have been closed for serving uncovered women.

In one of the most notorious cases, the authorities closed the Opal shopping center for a few days at the end of April, which houses some 450 businesses, for letting unveiled women into Tehran.

In addition, at least six well-known actresses have been denounced for appearing in public or on social networks without a veil, in some cases highly publicized by the authorities.

Actresses Fateme Motamed-Arya, Afsaneh Baygan, Pantea Bahram, Katayoun Riahi, Baran Kosari and Shaghayegh Dehghan face fines and up to two months in jail for not wearing the headscarf for these allegations.

Violence towards those who do not wear veils

But unveiled women don’t just face being refused service at medical clinics, educational centers, shops, restaurants or taxis.

They may also be victims of acts of violence, whether verbal or physical.

That was the case with Soraya, a 41-year-old housewife. She was assaulted by another woman when she went to pick up her daughter from school without a veil.

“He told us horrible things, that I am a whore and I dedicate myself to prostitution,” she told BLAZETRENDS.

The attacker, who was covered in a chador, a black garment that is placed on the head and covers the entire body except the face, accused her of “provoking the men” and of not “educating her daughter” for not covering her neck. hair.

“In the end he attacked me and broke my glasses,” he says, before the school principal separated them.

Despite everything, many women continue without wearing the veil on the streets of Tehran.

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