The Iranian regime announced a new plan to suppress women for “mal-veiling,” deploying approximately 7,000 undercover morality police officers in Tehran this week.
Morality police patrol the streets and report improper wearing of hijab to the Iranian authorities in order to monitor the observance of the Islamic dress code. Their presence has been felt for decades, but many Iranians were surprised and disappointed by their resurgence this week. Tehran’s morality police has seeded distrust and dismay in many Iranian women, and many feel that their presence fuels vigilantes to harass and humiliate women for their dress.
Many Iranians expressed their frustration with the Iranian regime for wasting resources forcing the observance of compulsory hijab and continuing to suppress women’s rights. Farideh Karimi, a human rights activist, condemned Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for not supporting Iranian women by fighting the morality police. “According to the regime’s laws, Rouhani has the authority to halt the new suppressive measures against women. By refusing to do so, he is in practice endorsing them.” She further condemned the regime for using their power to further gender disparity: “The regime’s suppressive institutions are ever more blatantly cracking down on women. This has been a tenet of the mullahs’ regime from its outset.”
Karimi is a member of The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Iran’s largest opposition group. The NCRI’s 10-Point Plan for Iran created by their president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, endorses gender equality, calling for a freedom of dress, marriage, education, and employment, and an abolishment of gender disparity.