In a controversial move, the Iranian Education Ministry announced on April 3 that it will not provide schooling for women who do not wear the hijab. The ministry claims that this new regulation will contribute to “creating a positive and constructive discourse among students on the issue of Islamic culture and beliefs, creating inner vitality, and creating a correct and positive attitude and beautiful thinking about the culture of chastity and hijab among students.”
The announcement has sparked outrage among women’s rights activists and human rights organizations, who see this as yet another attack on women’s freedom in Iran. Many women have been fighting against the mandatory hijab law in Iran for years, and this new regulation is seen as a step backward in their fight for equality.
The Iranian government has defended the decision, saying that the hijab is an integral part of Islamic culture and that the regulation is necessary to preserve the country’s cultural identity. However, critics argue that this move is a blatant violation of human rights, and that women should have the right to choose what they wear.
Following the alleged breaking of the hijab law by 22-year-old Mahsa Amini and her subsequent death in police custody in September 2022, Iranians have taken to the streets en masse to protest the current ruling regime. The demonstrations have included an unprecedented display of support from women and schoolgirls and are being viewed as one of the most significant challenges to the Islamic government since the 1979 revolution.
In addition to covering their heads in public, women in Iran are also required to wear loose fitting clothing while in public.