The deliberations on Iran’s new Hijab Bill have concluded within the Legal Commission of the clerical regime’s parliament, as announced by Moussa Ghazanfar Abadi, the commission’s chair. (The state-run Etemadonline.ir, August 20, 2023)
This 70-article bill, titled “Supporting the Family through Promotion of the Culture of Chastity and Hijab,” is currently awaiting placement on the parliamentary agenda for open floor discussion, during which the parliament will decide the trial period for the bill’s enforcement.
Lack of Transparency in the Examination Process
Remarkably, the Legal Commission concluded its deliberations on all 70 articles of the new hijab bill within a mere week, with the initial 39 articles being approved within the first two days. Speculation surrounds the actual content of the new Hijab bill and the extent to which proposed amendments have been adopted.
Among the suggested changes is an amendment to Article 1 that would prohibit men’s entry into women’s spaces, including clubs, stadiums, hairdressers, metro wagons, parks, and other forms of public transportation, and vice versa. This means that women would also be prohibited from entering sports stadiums where men are present, as dictated by the new Hijab bill.
Another contentious proposal pertains to the requirement for women and girls—both teachers and students—to wear the black head-to-toe Chador in all universities and high schools. Female educators would also face restrictions, including a ban on artificial nails and eyelashes.
Speculation further extends to potential measures such as the involvement of seminary students in educational institutions and the granting of permits to Basij members to carry deterrents like shockers and sprays for dealing with Hijab law violations.
The exact details of the bill, as approved by the Legal Commission of the mullahs’ parliament, remain undisclosed and await revelation.
Examining the New Hijab Bill Under Article 85
On Sunday, August 13, the clerical regime’s parliament voted to assign the examination of the Hijab and Chastity bill to the Legal Commission, invoking Article 85 of the Constitution, instead of debating it directly on the open floor. This decision was made due to the substantial number of amendments—over 1600—proposed by 59 representatives.
It was reasoned that discussing the bill in an open session could lead to extended delays and be tantamount to “non-approval.” Simultaneously, there was a pressing need to expedite the bill’s passage. The parliamentary vote in favor of this approach was 175 for, 49 against, with five abstentions.
The laws adopted under Article 85, will be implemented on a “trial basis” for a period of time determined by the parliament and their final approval will be subject to the parliament’s decision.