The Women’s Committee states that the two prongs of the regime’s survival strategy are domestic repression and the export abroad of terrorism and fundamentalism. This, the regime thinks, keeps the Iranian people from rising up to overthrow then and allows the “misogynist and medieval regime” to take control in other countries.
Of course, as always under authoritarian regimes, women are the primary victims of domestic repression, with the mullahs desperately trying to enforce the mandatory Hijab or veil.
Women in Iran have always resisted this coercion, publically denouncing the mullahs for stripping them of their right to choose their own clothing. They frequently defy the mullahs’ ruling, both at protests and in their daily lives, something that the regime views as a political and security issue. This is why there are now so many government bodies tasked with ensuring that women are abiding by the mandatory dress code when the money could have been much better spent elsewhere.
These agencies are not new. Commander-in-chief of the State Security Force Hossein Ashtari announced in December 2015 that there were 26 government agencies “responsible for the issue of Hijab and Chastity”. In fact, the compulsory veil issue has been significant to the regime’s political and national security for 40 years and so the mullahs have developed various ways to enforce the mandatory Hijab, which is why the number of organizations has ballooned. (Not that there should have been one, to begin with.)
In September 2019, the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution approved a new plan where there would be 27 state agencies, including 10 ministries, “responsible for enforcing the mandatory Hijab”. These agencies and bodies, which were not named and so, therefore, could be absolutely any agency, are involved in the suppression of women, working according to the supreme cultural council that is chaired by President Hassan Rouhani.
This outrageous repression of women’s rights is intrinsic to the regime and will continue for as long as the mullahs are in power due to the regime’s institutionalized misogyny. In addition, the regime’s misogynous laws have paved the way for the so-called “honor killings” in Iran. The case of the 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi, who was beheaded by her father with a sickle, is one of the recent cases of honor killings in Iran under the mullah’s regime.