Half of Iran wants to drop headscarf laws: government report

President Rouhani released a study showing how drastically public attitude towards mandatory Islamic dress has changed in the past decade. Nearly half of Iranians believe that wearing a hijab should be a private choice.

The government of Iran published a three-year old study on Sunday night illustrating growing public distaste for the obligatory hijab just days after police confirmed that dozens of women had been arrested as protests against mandatory Islamic head covering gained momentum.

The study compares data from 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2014 — and illustrates the staggering decline in support for the legal restrictions on women’s clothing, one of the major changes pushed during the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

According to the Center for Strategic Studies, which operates as part of the Iranian president’s office, in 2006, 34 percent of Iranians believed that the government should not be allowed to dictate what women wear.

But by 2014 that number had jumped to 49 percent.

“And I’m sure if you ran the survey again today, that number would be even higher,” one Iranian woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told DW. [Deutsche Welle] Read more