Document Type : Research Paper
sociology, social sciences, university of tehran, tehran. iran.
The policy of Compulsory "Unveiling" was implemented in January 1936 (Dāy 1314) as the official policy of the First Pahlavi Regime, and accordingly, women were forced to unveil by the police force. In September 1943, during the Second Pahlavi era, the government ordered to eliminate the term "compulsory" in this policy. This article is studying the resistance of social actors, in particular women's agency, to the implementation of this law and will show that in three main periods, from 1927 to 1935, and from 1935 to 1941, and from 1941 to 1943, three different forms of resistance against unveiling has been formed. The beginning of World War II in 1939 and the occupation of Iran by the Allies in 1941 are the most important structural changes that have provided context for action of social actors. The Second Pahlavi required that the clergy (Ulamā) support his monarchy or at least they do not disagree with it. This is another important change that helps the institutional revival of the clergy as an important power in topic of hijab. The article will show that there is no uniform and planned process in confronting women with "Unveiling" whereas this is resulted from the historical and social dispersed forces which provides the context for "Return to Hijab" in 1943. Women pursue a set of strategies against the policy of unveiling such as positive resistance and innovation in clothing design, negative resistance and physical conflict with police officers, immigration, staying at home and social deprivation, as well as petitioning for legal authorities. During the course of this resistance and return, the next discourse of hijab is formed such as "Hijab as Freedom" or the responsibility of the government to promote hijab. The Foucault method of analyzing historical trends, and first-hand documents, and official reports of the police and the Ministry of Interior, and oral history at the aforementioned time periods has been used in this paper.