According to a poll conducted by IPOS, 42% of Iranians say that wearing an Islamic hijab should be optional for women, while 38% believe it to be obligatory for religious reasons and another 15% maintain that it should be mandatory on strictly legal grounds. Five percent register other responses such as “I don’t know”, “I have no idea” and “I am not interested in this topic.

Respondents were markedly split by their level of education. A full 51% percent of those with a university degree say that wearing the Hijab should be voluntary. By contrast, 60% of those without university degrees support an obligatory hijab policy, either on religious or legal grounds.


Respondents residing in provinces with a higher Human Development Index are more likely to prefer elective hijab wearing. The percentage of respondents supporting mandatory hijabs, is significantly higher in provinces with a low Human Development Index.


Respondents’ views regarding the hijab do not vary in a statistically significant way when analyzed according to either gender or age. However, women were slightly more inclined to support compulsory hijabs than men (58% to 55%). Forty-eight percent of those ages 18 to 29 support voluntary hijabs, more than any other age group polled.



Survey Methods:

  • Results are based on telephone interviews conducted from June 7 to 9, 2015, with a randomly selected sample of 600 Iranian adults aged 18 and older who are currently residing in Iran.
  • The iPOS proportional two-stage sample includes respondents on landlines and cellular phones representing every province.
  • Based on the sample, it can be stated with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ± 4 percentage points.
  • Native Farsi speakers conducted the interviews during daylight hours in Iran. Interviewers were trained prior to conducting the poll. Remarks
  • HDI (Human Development Index) is a composite statistical index measuring the well-being across a number of different variables such as education, income, and health.
  • Data analysis incorporating such variables as educational level, location, gender and age makes use only of definitive affirmative or negative responses; i.e., iPOS removes from this data set all respondents who registered options such as “I don’t know”, “I have no ides” and “I am not interested in this topic”.