Iran’s Food & Drug Administration has ordered pharmacies to force their female staff to wear black veils at workplace. Iranian men are mocking this order and supporting their female colleagues by wearing hijab.
Compulsory hijab is the main pillar of a religious relationship.… https://t.co/h7sixsZyfq pic.twitter.com/cnngIXynGm
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) March 7, 2023
Iranian women have been openly protesting the mandatory use of a hijab since 2022. Protests broke out after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian morality police for not wearing her hijab properly and she died in their custody. While the demonstrations have put the issue on a global stage, the Iranian government has tried to push back. Recently, it was reported that Iran's FDA has ordered female pharmacy workers across the country to wear only black hijabs in the workplace. In turn, their male coworkers have shown their support for the women with a tongue-in-cheek response.
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad shared two images of male pharmacy workers—one with a prescription in his hand, the other browsing a store shelf—sporting the now-mandated black hijab. “Iran’s Food & Drug Administration has ordered pharmacies to force their female staff to wear black veils at workplace. Iranian men are mocking this order and supporting their female colleagues by wearing hijab,” Alinejad wrote. “Compulsory hijab is the main pillar of a religious relationship. Together we will bring this wall down.”
According to Iran International, on top of the compulsory hijab, drugstores have to display the new “rule” where the clients can see it. On top of that, the managers are responsible for monitoring how female staff are covered. If anyone wants to open a pharmacy, the owner must submit a written commitment regarding this topic. Due to this new law, two drugstores in Tehran and Amol have been shut down after female employees failed to comply.
One of the images was shared on Reddit, where it gained over 85,000 upvotes. There, users pointed out that the black and white are regarded as “professional colors,” as they supposedly keep the women from standing out and attracting the men's attention. While there is little information on whether more male pharmacy workers have joined the movement, the message they are sending is an inspiring act of solidarity. It also spotlights how the new rule is a selective attack on only one gender, placing blame for a man’s desires on women while simultaneously eliminating a woman’s choice. The issue is not the hijab itself. It is the choice that it being taken away. These men are showing the senseless double-standards women in Iran are currently being subjected to with this new rule.
After Iran's FDA has ordered female pharmacy workers to wear only black hijabs, their male coworkers have shown their support for the women by putting them on as well.