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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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EditorialWomen's dress code

Women’s dress code

In a world of real problems like poverty, sickness and hunger, countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran still choose to focus on women’s clothing more than anything. These countries have laws that state that women have to cover their heads at all times and wear loose clothing and if they are unable to do so or choose not to cover up properly, they are publicly rebuked, fined and in some cases arrested.

A recent incident that took place in Iran has brought the issue of state-controlled dress codes to the forefront. In Iran, a woman named Mahsa Amini died in police custody after she was arrested for not wearing an appropriate head covering. The morality police of Iran took her into custody and shortly after she fell into a coma and was pronounced dead. The Persian Twitter was blown up with a hashtag of her name and tweets criticizing and blaming Iran’s morality police for the death of the 22-year-old. People have accused the organization of torture that led to Amini’s death. The police, however, denied all allegations and claimed that she was a patient of multiple diseases that eventually led to her demise in custody and that the police had nothing to do with the death. The victim’s father, on the other hand, has said that his daughter did not suffer from any disease and she was healthy when arrested. Along with activists and several million people, he too blamed the police for the death of his daughter.

Iran’s dress code policies for women have been up for debate for a few years now. Activists have protested against the conservative policies and have faced quite a lot of obstacles including arrests and ostracization from society. However, this has not stopped them from protesting against such policies. Iran being a theocracy has introduced this law since Islam instructs women to cover their heads and wear modest clothing. However, religion also says that there is no compulsion in religion, therefore, the state cannot give a ruling for such a private matter. However, the theocracy does not see it as so. No doubt, after Iran’s revolution in 1979, the country introduced policies which allow women’s progressive role in society and for this reason, Iranian women have become a symbol of progressive Islam. Usually, women are treated with respect as the religion also puts forward such ideas.

The head cover and a certain dress code for women not only stem from Iran’s adoption of Islam in the public sphere and the government, but they also come from a deep-rooted culture of the land of Persia. Iran prior to the revolution and the Iran that we see now are polar opposites in terms of many things but first and foremost women’s clothing. The Iranian government must counter the propaganda that the refusal of western ideals has turned the country into an oppressive state for its women. The subjugation of women and policies related to policing their bodies is a recurring event in several countries.

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