Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Promoting morality or keeping women down?

Please refer back to the earlier post here about ethnocentrism when thinking about the question in the title of this blog post.

Every spring, as temperatures rise in Iran, conservative clerics and the morality police get more active in identifying, chastising, and sometimes prosecuting women who dress improperly. Here's a new approach.

Political socialization begins early in life. Would these proposed lessons in Iran be in social studies classes?

Baby steps? Toddlers in Iran taught chastity, hijab lessons
Islamic dress and notions of chastity will be taught to toddlers in Iran, as part of a move by the country to instill Islamic teachings into the younger generation, a report on Wednesday revealed.

The governor of Tehran, Morteza Tamadon, has recently stressed the importance of “popularizing” chastity and hijab among Iranians, advising that kindergarteners be taught, “before reaching those in higher education,” the Guardian reported.

“We cannot expect to see hijab and chastity exist in society without proper cultural work,” he said. “Our goal in the social transformation plan devised by the government is institutionalizing chastity and hijab as a natural [demand] in society,” he said…

As for a program targeting toddlers, the welfare office of the Iranian city of Qom is reportedly “training 400 experts on hijab and chastity who will be sent to kindergartens across the city,” according to the Guardian.

The report added that 1,530 kindergartens under the jurisdiction of a north-eastern province have already held “chastity and hijab exhibitions” in recent months…

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