35 Years of Forced Hijab: The Widespread and Systematic Violation of Women's Rights in Iran

Publication Author: 
Justice for Iran
March 2014
Hejab-Report-JFI-English.pdf1.57 MB
Hijab-report-Final-FA.pdf2.8 MB
Iran is the first country where all women are forced by law to observe hijab laws. Without espousing a clear definition of hijab, Islamic Republic laws consider women who lack “Islamic veil” in “public” as committing a crime punishable by imprisonment and fines. Based on Sharia laws, Islamic hijab implies covering hair and the entire body except for wrists and hands. However, a failure to observe hijab as determined by security or other official forces involve many other instances. For instance, certain choices of clothing colour, the tightness of outfits and even boots have been deemed as violations. However, these are not the only criteria, and the standards have varied from time to time. In fact, most forms of fashion that are in season are considered violations of Islamic hijab and are banned.
Findings of this report point to the fact that the harassment and abuse of women who may not observe hijab is not limited to warnings by street patrol officers. In reality, many are forced to face arrest and prosecution for violating hijab laws and consequently face limitations and deprivations in relation to their careers, education, public services and participation in cultural or recreational spaces. When examined in their totality, violations of the civil rights of women at the hands of state authorities and justified in the name of a lack of or improper hijab, subjects those women who oppose hijab to the most severe and extensive forms of harassment.
The report is available in Farsi and English, to read these please download the pdfs.