Shahindokht Molaverdi

The head of Women and Family Affairs says she addressed a number of controversial issues regarding women during her trip to Isfahan at a meeting with the Isfahan Women and Family Committee, where she stated among other things that the administration’s approach to hijab is positive reinforcement and it is against gender segregation at work.

Shahindokht Molaverdi said that people on both sides of the hijab issue are unhappy with the current situation in Iran and the administration believes in “positive” ways of promoting hijab. That’s in contrast to the enforcement by morality police and Basij volunteers, who often approach women on city streets whom they deem to be insufficiently covered or inappropriately dressed to warn them and at times even arrest them.

Molaverdi added that the administration is against gender segregation in the workplace, adding: “Iranian men and women, 35 years after the Revolution, are sure to have reached an understanding to distinguish between private spaces and the workplace.

She stressed that compliance with hijab and modesty encompasses a need for appropriate behaviour by both genders and not just women.

Molaverdi also encouraged women to pursue their desired careers despite the frequent statements from Islamic republic hardliners emphasizing family and motherhood as the chief priorities for women.

Molaverdi has also recently highlighted the low rates of female participation in Iranian politics and social and economic activities, adding that her office is preparing a plan of action to promote the participation of women in Parliament.