This series of photograph explores the compulsoriness of wearing veils in young girls in Iran, causing lack of rights to equality, privacy... Read More
This series of photograph explores the compulsoriness of wearing veils in young girls in Iran, causing lack of rights to equality, privacy and freedom of expression and belief.
Feminist issues have drawn much public attention in recent years across the globe. Such issues are women's liberation, reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women's suffrage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.
In such Islamic countries as Iran, these issues are even more severe and one of the prominent and most common issues are compulsory veils. Under the country’s compulsory veiling laws, women and girls – even those as young as seven – are forced to cover their hair with a veil (hijab) against their will, regardless of their religion or beliefs. Women who do not are treated as criminals by the state. This is the reality for millions of women and girls in Iran, where the state heavily controls women’s bodies. The veil is obligatory even tourists and visiting foreign dignitaries. In Iran, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the hijab has become compulsory. In 1983, Parliament decided that women who do not cover their hair in public will be punished with 74 lashes. Since 1995, unveiled women can also be imprisoned for up to 60 days. In the Middle East there's a ton of different types of the veil but the most common type in Iran is the hijab, which in Arabic means cover. The hijab has a symbolic meaning to women. Women think that the hijab says to people that they are sanctified to one man only and is off-limit to all others. Also the Hijab contributes to the stability and preservation of marriage and family by eliminating the chances of extramarital affairs. Finally, it compels men to focus on the real personality of the woman and de-emphasizes her physical beauty. It puts the woman in control of strangers’ reaction to her. The Veil is one of the biggest controversies all over the world.
In Iran, not only adults but also young girls (ages 6-7) attending gender segregated schools are required to wear hijab at all times including during sports activities and in hot weather. Elementary schoolgirls can wear bright, happy colours such as light blue, beige, pink, light green and yellow in school. The authority said it still looked upon the black chador as the 'favoured hijab' in Islamic society, but instructed authorities to avoid "unnecessary and illogical restrictions" on schoolgirls' dress. However, in smaller and more conservative cities, some young girls still wear black veils.
Outside of school, all females aged nine and above must continue to abide by the strict Islamic dress code in force since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Many families still choose to wear veils for the infants to avoid troubles altogether.
In the last few years, a growing number of Iranian men and women, however, reject this ideology imposed by Iran's religious leadership. Women are protesting by no longer heeding the dress code. They are showing that they want to regain control over their own bodies. Choosing how they wear their hair is their choice. Iranian women are adopting new ways to protest, and thus, forcing the regime to react.
Making criminals of women and girls who refuse to wear the hijab is an extreme form of discrimination. Forced veiling laws violate a whole host of rights, including the rights to equality, privacy and freedom of expression and belief. In the end, these laws degrade women and girls, stripping them of their dignity and self-worth.