Iranian Women Want Their Freedom of Choice
Iranian women’s right to freedom of choice in choosing what to wear, clothing, and covering has been a contentious issue in Iran for many years. The mandatory Hijab was enforced by the mullahs’ regime after the 1979 Revolution, especially considering the recent uprising in Iran sparked by the death in custody of a young woman for flouting the mandatory dress code.
For thousands of years in Iran, women’s clothing and covering were a matter of personal choice, a social issue that was never deemed a privilege. Iranian women choose to wear the Hijab and cover their hair and body depending on their tendencies and the culture in which they were brought up.
However, this changed with the advent of dictators who sought to impose rules on women’s clothing.
During the Pahlavi Dynasty’s rule, Reza Shah passed legislation in the parliament in 1936 banning Iranian women and girls from wearing any form of Hijab, covering their head, face, and body. The next dictator, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, repealed the law after widespread public protests in 1941.
But the mullahs’ regime made a round turn on the issue of the Hijab after seizing power in 1979. The mullahs’ reactionary interpretations of Islam, including the mandatory veiling of women, were made into law and institutionalized in the country’s Constitution and other legal codes.
The issue of the Hijab, an entirely personal choice for women at all times, has now become central to the clerical rule. Women who fail to observe the Hijab are considered to pose a national security threat to the regime’s pillars.
It’s important to note that the compulsory veil is only the tip of an iceberg of flagrant violations of women’s human rights in Iran in every respect. This is why women in Iran have been fighting to overthrow the entire clerical regime and its religious tyranny that intervenes even in the most minute details of their everyday life and tightens their breathing space in the social atmosphere.
Iranian women deserve to have freedom of choice
After all, no one tells men what to wear. Women should have the same freedom of choice. The desire of Iranian women is for absolute gender equality. Still, they know very well that until this regime is overthrown, they will not achieve any of their rights, demands, and freedoms, including the freedom of choice in choosing their attire.
Women should have the right to choose what they want to wear without coercion or pressure from the state. What a woman wears should always remain a matter of personal choice.
But Iranian dictators have always dictated to women what to wear. Whether it was the Pahlavi Dynasty or the current regime, women’s clothing and covering have been used as a tool for oppressing women and imposing the will of the state on them.
The reality is that women in Iran have been fighting for their rights for many years, with the issue of women’s status and equality being a focal point of the Iranian Resistance for the past 37 years.
In 2006, the NCRI President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, proposed a Ten-Point Plan emphasizing Iranian women’s rights, including “Complete gender equality in the realms of political, social, cultural, and economic rights, and equal participation of women in political leadership. Abolishment of any form of discrimination; the right to choose one’s own clothing freely; Prohibition of all forms of exploitation against women under any pretext.”
Women in Iran had already paid the price during Shah’s time when Shah’s police tormented them. They paid the price in 1988; they paid the price in 2019, and they pay the price today.
Iranian women chant for their freedom of choice
Women in Iran have played a remarkably active role in virtually all the protests. They have said no to the compulsory veil, the compulsory religion, and the compulsory rule of the mullahs.
In conclusion, Iranian women envision the future of a democratic, modern, free republic, with the separation of religion and state, gender equality, no torture, no executions, no secret police, and no IRGC. They say, “With or without Hijab, let’s all go for a Revolution.”
Support Iranian women and their freedom of choice.