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  • Apr 13, 2024

Iran’s Hijab and Chastity Bill Underscores the Need to Codify Gender Apartheid

The United Nations Sixth Committee has just concluded deliberating on the draft convention on crimes against humanity. Several states have underscored the necessity of incorporating “gender apartheid” into the list of crimes against humanity outlined in the draft. As the Islamic Republic of Iran intensifies its gender apartheid policies and laws, it serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to criminalize such gender-based violations under international law.

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The 70-article Hijab and Chastity Bill is nearing its final steps to become law in Iran. It targets not only women who defy mandatory Islamic veiling rules but would also impact import companies and the textile, fashion, tourism, and hospitality industries, which provide goods and services to such women. According to the bill, by doing so, these industries promote a culture of ‘nudity, unchastity, being without hijab, or with a loose hijab’ and shall be subject to punishment ranging from monetary fines to the loss of their licenses.

The bill will increase gender-segregated spaces and surveillance resources. Punishments for women not wearing the Islamic hijab in public will escalate to five to ten years in prison. It criminalizes actions from posting unveiled photos on social media to protesting hijab rules or collaborating with foreign media and governments against mandatory hijab laws. Celebrities breaking the law face severe penalties, and business owners could face fines, closure, and license revocation. The bill also allocates a significant budget to establish a central hub within the Ministry of Interior, to which ministries, state organs, and law enforcement agencies must report their compliance with the Hijab and Chastity regulation.

Read the full article here for an in-depth analysis

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