Public support for Iran’s compulsory hijab wearing has dramatically dropped in the past few years, according to a report released by the government on February 4.
The report released by officials, entitled “Hijab: Pathology of Past Policies, Looking to the Future,” was actually compiled in 2014 and assessed opinions gathered countrywide in that year as well as in 2006, 2007 and 2010. However, a report produced in the past year has also been carried out and, although it is yet to be released, the betting is that it will show a further decline in the number of people who favour the law compelling the wearing of the veil by females.
A growing wave of women and young girls in the Islamic Republic have started publicly protesting against the law. Dozens of women who have mounted demonstrations against the hijab aspect of the Islamic dress code, sometimes by holding out a hijab on the end of a stick in public, have been arrested in the past month.
According to the released report, 49% of Iranian women polled in Tehran in 2014 said that the law should be withdrawn, up from 36% in 2006. The report also concluded that right across the board support for veiling types of clothing, including the full-body-length chador outer garment held closed with the hands, had very little support in 2014, with only 2% of those polled in favour. The survey showed the most popular form of clothing combination for Iranian women four years ago was a loose manteaux jacket with a loose scarf over the head.
The head veiling rule for Iranian women came into effect in 1980, one year after the Islamic Revolution. It has been one of the most controversial cultural issues in Iran ever since in the debate between those advocating substantial adherence to traditional values and those of a more secular mindset.
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