BEHIND THE VEIL:
Islamic Women of Iran
RELIGION OF ISLAM
Islam is a monotheistic religion (belief in one God) that
originated in the Middle East over 1400 years ago.
It traces its origin back to Abraham.
Muhammad, a messenger and prophet of God, unified the religion.
The Qur’an is the religious book of Islam. Muslims consider it to be the
literal word of God (Allah), with teachings and normative examples from
Speak to the believing women that they refrain their
eyes, and observe continence; and that they display not
their ornaments; except those which are external; and
that they throw their veils over their bosoms, and not
display their ornaments…
Qur’an, Surah xxiv. 31
QUR’AN and WOMEN
THE QUR’AN and WOMEN
According to the Qur’an, women are supposed to avert their eyes and cover their
bodies in public, but it does not exclusively require it.
In fact, the tradition of hijab comes from the religious doctrine of the Hadith of
Sahih Bukhari. The Hadith interprets the teachings of Mohammed to Muslims and
Bukhari’s readings of the Qur’an are considered the standard.
According to his interpretation, the veiling of women was required and the custom of hijab
began in the Muslim world.
HIJAB: The traditional Islamic dress for women in public.
• Women are required to cover their entire body, excluding their
face, hands, and feet.
Some women chose to cover their
bodies with regular clothes along with
Other women chose to cover their entire
bodies with a long-sleeved cloak.
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
• In 1979, the Islamic Republic passed a law that made the practice
of hijab mandatory.
• Even now in 2013, this is still the law, and all women in Iran must
abide by it. If any woman violates this law, Article 683 says–
“Those women…shall be sentenced from ten days to two months’
imprisonment or fined from fifty thousand to five hundred thousand Rials”
EAST VS. WEST
From all the media coverage of Iran, Westerns don’t understand why
these women allow men to dominate them and dictate how they dress.
The hijab symbols to Westerns that these women are oppressed, uneducated,
Iranian women know the media cannot tell their whole story.
It’s a complicated story and one must look deeper . . .
Do Iranian women have a choice
in the practice of hijab?
Currently they do not, because the
law in Iran requires hijab in public.
Even though they don’t have a
choice, it doesn’t mean they’re
In the Qur’an and the Hadith, hijab
is stated as a woman’s religious
duty. Therefore they feel that
they’re following the word of Allah.
WOMEN AND EDUCATION
In Iran, approximately 60% of current university graduates are women
and the number continues to rise.
These graduates account for more than 12% of the Iranian women population.
Women acquiring a bachelor’s or master’s degree are over 25% more likely to want a
career and be able to enter the labor force.
Unfortunately, only 25% of these graduates join the labor force. The other threequarters become wives and stay-at-home mothers. . .
. . . There are women working to change that
NO LONGER SILENT
Iranian law states that one man equal two women
Many women are fighting this and many other submissive laws. This has become
much bigger than simply the practice of hijab.
Currently the women’s movement in Iran is strong, which includes the Million
This campaign aims to collect one million signatures in support for the purpose of legalizing
women as equal to men under the law.
CONTINUING TO FIGHT FOR THEIR
RIGHTS THROUGH . . .
. . . EDUCATION
. . . CAREERS
. . . ACTIVISM
LOOKING FORWARD . . .
Men have twice as much power as women do, which has created a
feeling of disempowerment among Iranian women.
The rise in feminism has created a movement to change the current
As women continue to fight, Allah will guide them, along with their
belief that hijab is a religious symbol and a woman’s choice.
ARTIFACT OF HIJAB
As Iranian women fight for inequality, they can change the
perceptions of what hijab symbolizes.
In the future, hijab can be associated with strength, independence,
What do you think???
Hughes, T. P. (1965). A Dictionary of Islam. Clifton: Reference Book Publishers, Inc.
Islam. (2013, December 14). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam
Nayyeri, M. H. (2013, December 12). Gender Inequality and Discrimination: The Case of
Iranian Women. Retrieved from Iran Human Rights Documentation Center:
O'Flynn-Magee, S. (2013, December 13). Hijab Politics in Iran. Retrieved from Digital Journal:
Parker, K. (2013, December 12). Postcolonial Studies at Emory. Retrieved from Women, Islam,
and Hijab: http://postcolonialstudies.emory.edu/women-islam-and-hijab/
Sham, W. K. (2013, December 14). Journal of History. Retrieved from Armstrong