In Iran, More And More Photos Show Women Ditching The Hijab

Source: Radio Farda (RFE/RL)

Amid ongoing unrest, some Iranian women are now going about their lives without mandatory Islamic head coverings.

1.  This December 24 photo, of a young couple playing with snow on a hilltop above Tehran, is one of several recent images showing Iranian women in public without the hijab, the Islamic head covering that has been mandatory for women in Iran since 1983.
2.  A woman in a market in Tehran on December 5.  Iran has been rocked by months of protests that erupted in September following the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, who was detained by Tehran’s morality police. Amini was flagged for tight trousers and for wearing her hijab “improperly.”
3. Two women, one of whom has removed her headscarf, walk in Tehran on December 6.  In 1983, Iran’s Islamist government decreed that “women who appear in public without religious hijab will be sentenced to a whipping of up to 74 lashes,” though short terms of imprisonment were a more common punishment.
4.  A young Iranian woman takes a selfie in front of Christmas trees in Tehran on December 25.  In recent years, women deemed by the country’s morality police to be flouting head-covering laws were made to attend a lecture on “Islamic values.” A family member was then permitted to collect them for release.
5.  A woman walks through Tehran on December 4.  Amid massive unrest following Amini’s death, Iran apparently cut back patrols of the morality police in early December. A small but growing number of women have since taken to the streets in defiance of the Islamic government’s law on headscarves by wearing only hats — or no head covering at all.
6. A couple in Tehran on December 6.  A video published in early December shows two women walking down one of Tehran’s central streets with their hair uncovered, a scene that was widely shared at the time but which now appears to be relatively common.
7. Women chatting in a park after a snowfall in Tehran on December 24.  A Voice of America report cites a Washington-based rights group as claiming patrols by the morality police disappeared from Tehran’s wealthier neighborhoods in recent weeks.
8. Women in Tehran on December 6. In some cities outside of Tehran however, restrictions on clothing apparently remain in full force.
9. A woman wearing a woollen hat watches two dogs playing in a park in Tehran on December 24. A recent report from IRNA, an official Iranian news agency describes five businesses in Iran’s northwestern Qazvin province being temporarily shut down in punishment for serving women who were not wearing hijabs.
10.  A woman looking at Christmas decorations in Tehran on December 25.  As of December 26, protests were ongoing in some parts of Iran over the deadly crackdowns on demonstrations sparked by Amini’s death in September.