Not just Iran: The countries that police women’s wardrobe


Iran has a very strict set of dress code that women are supposed to follow. It’s morality police, Gasht-e Ershad has been tasked to detain those who violate the country’s conservative dress code. Recently, a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini was arrested for wearing tight trousers and loose headscarf. She later died in police custody.


After the Taliban took over charge of Afghanistan last year in August, women’s freedom in the country went for a toss. In May this year, the group mandated all women to wear burqa in public.

Saudi Arabia

Authorities in Saudi Arabia frown upon women who wear tight-fitting clothes, sleeveless shirts and short dresses. Women are usually seen wearing the traditional abaya in public. However in 2016, there were certain relaxations granted for women.

North Korea

In an effort to curb any kind of ‘western influence’ on its people, North Korea has banned piercings, skinny jeans and several kinds of hairstyles. Women who wear skirts have to ensure that their knees are covered.


In a stark contrast to Middle Eastern nations that mandate hijab or burqa, France bans Muslim women from wearing veils of any kind. The country’s football federation does not allow hijab-wearing women to be part of the sport, a decision that has sparked backlash from many Muslim women.

Sorrento, Italy

In July this year, Sorrento, Italy’s most popular tourist destination banned bikinis saying that locals feel ‘discomfort and unease’ when women wear them. Mayor Massimo Coppola said that people walking around in swimwear was “contrary to decorum” and that such behaviour was impacting quality of life in the town.

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