Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has banned women from appearing in advertisements as it seeks to tighten the country’s hijab and chastity laws.The ministry informed advertising agencies in a letter that women are now prohibited from starring in all types of advertisements and commercials, reports Radio Free Europe. The instruction came shortly after a controversial commercial -- featuring a woman in a loose hijab biting suggestively into a Magnum ice cream -- caused outrage and furore among Iran’s hardline Islamic leaders.
The body responsible for “enjoining right and forbidding evil” in the Islamic Republic of Iran has filed a lawsuit against the Iranian ice-cream manufacturer Domino over two controversial commercials, which it says are “against public decency” and “insult women’s values.” pic.twitter.com/Brho4SGZj3
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) July 5, 2022
According to the Mirror, Iranian clerics were enraged by the video and asked officials to sue the ice cream manufacturer Domino. Officials, in turn, declared that the ad went "against public decency" and was an "insult" to "women's values".
According to the letter sent by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to advertising agencies, the ban is in accordance with the rulings by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution.
It is also based on a local law that forbids any "instrumental use" of women, men and children. This law has always been in place, but its interpretation has varied according to how strict the administration is at any given time.
This whole controversy is taking place against the backdrop of a larger issue – Iran’s enforcement of wearing hijab in public, which many women have tried to protest.
The hijab has been compulsory in Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979, but many women of late have raised their voice against the law, joining new social media campaigns against hijab enforcement street patrols.In recent years, women in Iran have risked arrest and punishments by removing the head scarf in public to make a statement against enforced dress codes.