Women are once again on the streets of Iran tossing hijab in the air and shouting slogans against the moral policing. The reason is the death of 22-year-old Mehsa Amini due to police beating for her only fault was that she was not wearing the hijab properly.
The requirement for Iranian women to wear the hijab came into force after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Before that, Iran was quite independent in the matter of women’s clothing under the rule of Shah Pahlavi. Here, the Supreme Court is hearing the petition of Muslim girls to wear hijab in India.
Let’s learn about the changes in the lives of women in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979…
Pahlavi Shah banned wearing hijab
In 1925, the Pahlavi dynasty came to power in Iran. The first ruler Raza Shah was influenced by America and Britain. In 1941, his son Mohammad Reza Shah also understood the manner of western countries and the equal rights of women. These two rulers took many big decisions to improve the condition of women.
On 8 January 1936, Raza Shah implemented Kashf-e-Hijab. That is, if a woman wears a hijab, the police will take her off.
In 1941, Shah Raza’s son Mohammad Reza took over the rule and banned the Kashf-e-Hijab. He allowed women to wear the dress of their choice.
In 1963, Mohammad Reza Shah gave women the right to vote and women were also elected to the Parliament.
In 1967, Iran’s personal law was also reformed in which women got equal rights.
The age of marriage for girls was raised from 13 to 18 years. Also abortion was made a legal right.
Emphasis was laid on increasing the participation of girls in studies. By the 1970s, the share of girls in Iran’s universities was 30%.
Shia religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini opposed these policies of Shah. In 1978, under his leadership, two million people gathered at Shahyad Chowk to protest against Shah. This is what is called Islamic Revolution. Women also took an active part in this.
In 1979, Shah Reza Pahlavi had to leave the country and Iran became an Islamic Republic. Khomeini was made the Supreme Leader of Iran. From here Iran became a stronghold of Shia Islam in the world. Khomeini greatly reduced the rights of women…
In 1981, cosmetics were banned with the hijab becoming mandatory. Religious police began removing women’s lipstick with razor blades.
The Islamic government abolished the reforms of the Family Protection Law of 1967, which gave women equal rights.
The age of marriage for girls was reduced from 18 years to 9 years.
However, after Khomeini’s death, Iran’s President Rafsanjani gave some relaxation to those strict laws and kept the focus on women’s education.