Gender Apartheid in Iran:
New Bills Against Women
The head of the Judicial Commission of the Islamic Council of Iran has announced an alarming development: non-compliance with the hijab will soon result in an SMS warning, followed by fines and the blocking of the offender’s national ID card, rendering them unable to access social services until the imposed fine is paid. This plan is being unveiled at a time when reports from Iran indicate that many women have been emboldened to shed the mandatory hijab, particularly following widespread protests.
This MP further said that based on this plan, which has been examined by the Cultural Revolution Council and also the National Security Council, women who do not observe the mandatory hijab may have their identification documents such as driver’s license and even their passports revoked.
According to this plan, women will be targeted under seven category: while they use cars (public or private), public buildings and restaurants, all administrative buildings, educational centers and universities, transportation centers, internet and streets.
As reported by news agencies, a government official has revealed that the development of the aforementioned plan was no small feat. In fact, it took a team of experts a full two years of dedicated study to craft this scheme, which is now poised to be presented to the Islamic Council!
According to the official, non-compliance with the hijab will be treated as a crime, like a traffic violation.
What can happen in practice?
It appears that the government’s draconian plan to enforce mandatory hijab will extend far beyond just targeting women who dare to uncover their hair. Rather, it seems that the powers that be will be taking a holistic approach, punishing not only women without hijab, but anyone who comes into contact with them as well.
From administrative and public services to the tiniest of communal spaces, no one will be spared from the punitive measures being implemented. It’s difficult not to view this as a severe infringement on personal liberties and a worrying sign of the government’s desire to exert control over every aspect of public life.
Consider the potential implementation of this plan. It is possible that guards could be stationed at every entrance, authorized to deny entry to any woman not wearing a hijab. Alternatively, private and public drivers may be compelled to refuse service and report any passenger who flouts the hijab rule to authorities, risking the impounding of their vehicle as a penalty for providing service to non-hijab wearing women. Even supermarkets may not be immune to such scrutiny, and could face closure if they serve a woman who defies the hijab mandate.
These examples, while limited, provide a glimpse into the wide-ranging restrictions that may be poised to be implemented under this plan. One can only imagine the countless other instances in which these draconian measures could be applied.
These statements and plans are part of the Islamic government’s efforts to replace the infamous “Morality Police”. These patrols have been the subject of intense controversy in recent years, as they have been responsible for subjecting young women to brutal and violent treatment. The tragic killing of Jina-Mahsa Amini has been a flashpoint, igniting widespread protests across the nation.