The government of Iran is unpredictable and unprecedented when it comes to providing freedom and equality to all its citizens, whether it’s the right to wear, the right to speak, or even the right to marry. The Hijab protests in Iran have captured the attention of the entire world.
Iran these days is in the grip of the ongoing anti-hijab movement between its government and the common people. Women are showing their protest by cutting their hair and burning the hijab, or by waving it in the air.
Men are also actively supporting them in this fight. Such anti-government demonstrations have never happened in history to date.
The Iranian government is making every effort to suppress the protests of the protesters, but instead of slowing down, the fire of the movement is getting more intense as people from all over the world have given their support to Iranian women.
What is the anti-hijab protest in Iran, and when did it start?
Sharia law is applicable in Iran and women are required to wear hijab and purdah, with severe punishment for not doing so.
An Iranian woman called Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian police on the charge that she did not cover her head properly and her hair was visible. She was allegedly murdered in custody by Iranian police.
The country’s initial protests began in Ms. Amini’s home region of north-western Iran, which is home to a sizable Kurdish population. Since then, the movement has spread across the country.
Why is the hijab important in Iran?
Iran was not always a radical Islamic country. In 1979, Iran’s society was very open; women dressed in western clothes could be seen walking freely in the streets, and there was no moral policing of any kind. Iran was a rich country anyway because of its rich oil reserves.
After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, the picture of Iran changed; Iran became a theocratic country, and Iran was declared an Islamic Republic.
Women in Iran
Since the above-mentioned Islamic revolution, the Iranian government has kept its women’s rights in check.
The status of women in Iran can also be gauged from the fact that in Iran, a father has the right to marry even his adopted daughter, but she should be at least 13 years old and they should take permission from the court.
When this heinous practise was outlawed in 2013, the country’s Shia religious leaders were outraged.Later, this ban was lifted, and the marriage was legalised with the permission of the court.
It is forbidden for Iranian women to shake hands with men. The woman may be arrested because it is a crime.
Iran forbids women from donning skin-tight clothing. They are prohibited from entering a stadium to witness a men’s game. They may also be imprisoned for failing to wear a hijab (head and face cover).
The laws do benefit men exclusively. If their husbands are engaging in extramarital relations, women cannot object. Divorce is only permitted for men. Additionally, women are not allowed to work without their husbands’ permission.
According to Iranian inheritance rules, a wife’s assets pass to her husband upon his death.
However, if a spouse passes away, his widow is only entitled to 1/8th of the share. In comparison to their daughter, their son receives a double portion of the father’s estate.
They must completely cover their bodies when wearing the hijab.If a woman is seen breaking the rules, the police have the right to beat her and sentence her to up to 6 months in jail as well as a fine. An Iranian woman must obtain her husband’s permission before leaving the country.
Iran forbids the public dancing of women. They are only permitted to dance in enclosed areas with women present. To release a music album in the country, a woman must obtain special permission from the government.
It is illegal to sing while standing in the middle of the road. Women’s ties are also prohibited.
The current situation and the attitude of the government
From cities to villages, women are on the road, leading the movement, fearlessly ready to lay down their lives; men are also supporting them. While singing and dancing on the streets, they are confronting the bigoted government, which is ready to go to any extent to trample them.
Till now, many women have been killed in this struggle, and many are still missing. The charge is against Iran’s police and the notorious Revolutionary Guards for selectively killing their citizens on the orders of their hardline government.
The country’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, condemned this movement and called it a conspiracy of America and Israel.
The Iranian government is suppressing this movement with full force. The Iranian government has also imposed curbs on media and the internet in its country so that news does not reach from one place to another.
Some protesters are deleting their social media accounts out of fear of retaliation, while others are getting violent.
This movement has emerged as the biggest challenge for the Iranian government, which is already troubled by its sinking economy due to US sanctions. And the way Iran is suppressing this movement, it may have to face even more stringent economic sanctions in the future.
The Iranian people are tired of a theocracy set up by fanatical leaders full of rotten ideas to govern the people as they want and seem determined to bring democracy at any cost, and perhaps that dawn is not far away.
What is the attitude of the world toward this movement?
People from all over the world have given their support to this movement.
Many celebrities and film stars have also given their support to this struggle of Iranian women. To support the women of Iran, women around the world have started a campaign to symbolically show their support for this movement by cutting their hair and waving it in the air.
Placards are being waved and slogans were being raised in memory of Mahsa Amini and in support of Iranian women at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.
The Iranian football team also supported the movement by not singing their country’s national anthem before matches.
US President Biden issued a sanction guideline to support the protesters.
Elon Musk also came forward, offering his help in providing internet to the Iranian people through his satellite internet company, “Starlink,” in support of the Iranian people, while the UN Human Rights Council has only expressed statements of concern.