Summary: Muslim women who choose to stop wearing the hijab may face backlash and pressure from their families and communities. Iran recently passed a bill that would increase penalties for women who break the country’s strict dress code, sparking protests. For many Muslim women, wearing the hijab is a personal choice, but for those who wish to remove it, it can be a difficult decision that takes years to make.
Taking off the hijab: ‘My dream was to wear what I wanted’
For some Muslim women, choosing to stop wearing the hijab, or headscarf, can be a difficult decision to make. They may face backlash from their family or be shunned by their community. Iran has recently passed a bill that would increase penalties for women who break the country’s strict dress code, following protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. While many Muslim women choose to wear the hijab, for those who wish to take it off, it can take years to overcome the pressure and make that decision.
Increased Penalties in Iran
Iran’s parliament has passed a controversial bill that would significantly increase prison terms and fines for women and girls who break the country’s strict dress code. This bill comes in the wake of widespread protests, where women have taken to the streets and removed their hijabs. The protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who died three days after being detained by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. The bill still needs the approval of the Guardian Council to become law.
The Pressure to Wear the Hijab
Choosing to stop wearing the hijab can be a difficult decision for Muslim women. They may face pressure from their families and communities, who believe it is their duty to God. Ribell, a young woman from Iran, recalls being told by her parents that she would be eternally punished if she refused to wear the hijab. She lived with a constant sense of guilt and dreamed of wearing shorts and T-shirts like other girls in her community. Overcoming this pressure and making the decision to remove the hijab can take years.