These Iranian women are dressing as boys for one surprising reason
Iran has seen a number of young women passing themselves off as men – in order to escape the country’s sexist morality laws.
The country is one of the most oppressive regimes in the world for gay people and women – with the death penalty for homosexuality and barbaric morality laws targeting the country’s female population.
Iran’s religious police follow a code that severely restricts the role of women – forced to obey a strict Islamic dress code and barred from many areas of public life.
However, a growing number of young women in the state are taking one surprising action in order to secure freedom: cutting their hair short and dressing as men.
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When passing as male, the young people – who do not identify as transgender – find they are able to walk around in public without harassment.
Taking to Facebook, one such girl explained: “I am an Iranian girl. In order to avoid the morality police, I decided to cut my hair short and wear men’s clothes so that I can freely walk in the streets in Iran.”
The page ‘Stealthy Freedom’ has featured several women flouting the country’s laws in the same way.
It explains: “Iran is a country where certain young women who do not believe in the compulsory veil have now started dressing up as men to enjoy the liberty of going to stadiums or to even walk in the streets without having to wear the headscarf.
“We sincerely hope for the day when women in Iran will no longer be obliged to live in fear and their moments of stealthy freedom will be transformed into real ones.”
The country has begun to see some limited modernisation in recent years – and the most recent Parliamentary elections saw a record 17 women elected to Parliament… out of 290.
Air France recently relaunched flights to Tehran after sanctions against Iran were lifted. The company introduced exemptions so that female employees who don’t want to work on the route will be allowed to opt out.
However, gay staffers raised concern after they were not offered the same deal – meaning they would have to fly to the country.
Earlier this year, an Iranian pro-government news outlet claimed that veteran LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is actually a spy working with operatives from MI6.