Parks exclusively for women are popping up in Iranian cities, but critics are divided over whether this is just another ploy to keep them hidden in public
“I love to take off my headscarf,” says Laleh, 47, a hairdresser from Tehran. She’s sitting with a group of friends around one of the many picnic tables in the Mother’s Paradise, a park in the Iranian capital. She’s wearing a fringed mint-green T-shirt through which you can see her bare stomach. “We can wear airy clothes here, and that’s a freedom I really enjoy.”
Behind her, a group of women wearing T-shirts and skinny jeans are dancing to loud pop music. One of them climbs on top of a table and sways her hips to the rhythm of the music. A group of schoolgirls wearing white headscarves stop to watch.
We can wear airy clothes here and that’s a freedom I really enjoy
These parks are an insult. I refuse to be secluded in a reservation