Iranian women have been forced to cover their hair and wear long, loose garments for nearly 40 years
Tehran police have announced that they will no longer arrest women for failing to observe Islamic dress code imposed since the 1979 revolution.
According to the Iranian police chief, those who do not observe the Islamic dress code will no longer be taken to detention centres, nor will judicial cases be filed against them.
However, the violators of the dress code will be made to attend classes at counselling centres given by police and repeat offenders could still be subject to legal action.
He further said nearly 8,000 people had been “educated” overrule breaches in more than 100 centres in Tehran province and dress code still remains outside the capital.
Last year In April 2016, there were 7,000 undercover morality police reporting on matters such as “bad hijab”, a blanket term usually referring to alleged un-Islamic dress by women.
Since the revolution, Younger and more liberal-minded women have long been pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable under the hardline regime, for example by wearing loose headscarves that do not fully cover their hair and painting their nails.
Mandatory head coverings have been a key symbol of Islamic rule since the revolution nearly four decades ago, and are fiercely defended by hardliners.
This announcement signalled an easing of punishments for violating the country’s conservative dress code, as called for by the young and reform-minded Iranians who helped re-elect President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, earlier this year.
President Hassan Rouhani, who came to power in 2013 promising a more moderate stance, has said it is “not the police’s duty to enforce Islam”.