Iran Bans Women From Appearing In Ads

Iran’s Guidance Ministry has told advertising agencies that under the government’s tightening of the so-called hijab and chastity law, women are now prohibited from appearing in advertisements.

The ministry sent a letter to agencies over the weekend following the release of a promotional video by the Domino ice-cream company that featured an actress wearing a sweater donning additional layers of clothing while images of ice cream flash across the screen. 

At the end of the ad, she is wearing a winter coat and hat and takes a bite of the ice cream.

A government agency subsequently called the ad “a crime” and condemned the use of an actress saying such ads lead to the “promotion of immorality” in the society.

The move comes as authorities increasingly crack down on women deemed to be in violation of a law making it mandatory to wear a hijab in public.

A July 5 order by President Ebrahim Raisi to enforce the hijab law has resulted in a new list of restrictions on how women can dress. The country’s notorious Guidance Patrols, or morality police, have become increasingly active and violent in enforcing the law, with videos emerging on social media showing officers detaining women, forcing them into vans, and whisking them away.

Since Raisi’s order, women judged not to be in compliance have been told they will be barred from government offices, banks, and public transportation.

In response, activists have launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #no2hijab to urge people to boycott companies enforcing the tougher restrictions.

On July 12, women’s rights activists posted videos of themselves publicly removing their veils to coincide with the government’s National Day of Hijab and Chastity.

The hijab first became compulsory in public for Iranian women and girls over the age of 9 after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Many Iranian women have flouted the rule over the years in protest and pushed the boundaries of what officials say is acceptable clothing.