These Vintage Photos Show How Far Islamic Women’s Rights Have Fallen In The Middle East

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In the world we live in today, we’re accustomed to the typical pictures of women that are under radical Islamic rule. Fully dressed from head-to-toe and with little to know ability to express themselves with their clothing options. However, it was not always like this.  Many years ago, women in the Middle East had a different lifestyle.

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Instead of such a restrictive environment, the separation of religion and government aided in allowing women to have freedom of expression in clothing.

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Compared to today’s generation of women, it is a drastic step back for women in the Middle East. So what did these past Middle East women look like?

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This photograph was taken in 1979 in Lebanon. As you can see, there are various different styles being shown in this pictures. From dresses to more formal business attire, the colors were very vibrant and open. This all decreased once the Taliban took control in 1996.


Up next, this was taken in 1978 in Afghanistan. Once again, the women here wore skirts around the knee length along with a short sleeve top. They even had heels!


The photo above was taken in 1952 in Iran. Before 1980, women had many more rights up until that turning point. For example, the Human Rights Watch points out that women in Iraq could vote, get an education, take part in the political system, and own property. Oh, how the times have had change. The Guardian reports that in areas under Islamic State control, all women are required to wear a double-veil and must be in the company of a man at all times.

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This tweet is pretty accurate about the current state of Middle Eastern countries. Most of these restrictions are based off of mandates in the Quran, but the issue has become out of control. If you look at how well these countries operated decades ago, it’s a shame we can’t live in a world of freedom of expression for all women.

h/t Independent Journal Review