In a recent event, Iran’s parliament enacted a controversial bill that might result in severe punishments for those who are found to be in violation of the nation’s rigorous dress code, especially women and girls. The “Hijab and Chastity Bill,” which has generated debate, may have significant effects on individual liberties. We’ll examine the specifics of this measure and its potential effects in more detail in this piece.
The Enacted Law and Its Consequences
People who are found to be dressed “inappropriately” in public places could be imprisoned for up to ten years under the terms of the recently enacted measure, with an obligatory three-year “trial” period. The bill has successfully passed one legal requirement, but it still needs the Guardian Council’s final blessing before it can become law.
The legislation can be vetoed by the conservative Guardian Council, which is made up of clerics and judges, if it is determined to be in conflict with Iran’s constitution and Sharia law. A majority of the parliament supported the law, as seen by the vote of 152 to 34 in favor of passing it.
Penalties for Violating the Dress Code
For women and girls who are regarded to be dressed “inappropriately” in public settings, the “Hijab and Chastity Bill” imposes a “fourth degree” punishment. This amounts to a prison sentence of five to ten years, as well as a fine of 180 million to 360 million rials ($3,651-$7,302), according to Iran’s penal code.
Additionally, the law extends its application to social media sites and media platforms. On these platforms, those found guilty of “promoting nudity” or “making fun of the hijab” will also be fined. Infractions to the strict clothing rule by female drivers or passengers could result in fines for vehicle owners as well.
The punishment for encouraging dress code infractions “in an organized manner” or “in cooperation with foreign or hostile governments, media, groups, or organizations” can range from five to ten years in prison.
Criticisms and concerns from abroad
The passing of this legislation has received attention on a global scale. Eight independent UN human rights experts expressed their worries in a joint statement earlier this month. They claimed that the bill “could be described as a form of gender apartheid” and accused the Iranian government of oppressing women and girls through institutionalized discrimination.
Resistance and Protests
This contentious legislation follows a wave of demonstrations that broke out last year after Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by morality police after being accused of wearing an incorrect hijab, passed away while she was still in their care. There are reports of hundreds of deaths during these widespread protests against the clerical establishment due to a security force response. Women specifically protested by setting their headscarves on fire or waving them around.
In spite of these difficulties and heightened scrutiny, more and more Iranian women and girls are deciding not to cover their hair in public. This movement represents opposition to the stringent application of Sharia law, which requires women and girls older than puberty to wear the hijab and dress in long, baggy garments to cover their figures.
penalties for non-compliance at the moment
According to the BBC, as of right now, breaking the dress code is punishable by a prison sentence of between 10 days and two months or a fine of between 5,000 and 500,000 rials ($0.10-$10.14 at the black market exchange rate).