The head of Iran’s state television, Ezatollah Zarghami, said Wednesday that state-sponsored television programs will prohibit women who appear on air from using make-up. Zarghami also said that programs will ban “repulsive jokes” between women and men, and that it is “preferable” that women guests appear on shows hosted by other women, according to Agence France Presse.
According to Digital Production Middle East, Zarghami told the newspaper Eternad that “Make-up by women during television programs is illegal and against Islamic Sharia law. There should not be a single case of a woman wearing make-up during a program.” Even so, the Washington Post reports that millions of Iranian women wear make-up. Prior to the announcement of this ban, women appearing on television were only required to wear headscarves.
Critics of Iran’s state television–supporters and opponents of the government alike–say that currently, the programs on Iran’s state channel are boring relative to other programs. Iran’s head of state and religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini is reportedly dissatisfied with state television, and has asked Zarghami to make state-run programs demonstrate an “outstanding representation of morality, religion, hopefulness and awareness.”
Zarghami also announced this week that state television will ban appearances of children insulting elders and restrict the quantity and type of music that is played on programs.