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Fact-Check: Photo women from 1970’s Iran shared as a photo from Afghanistan

With the current occupation of Afghanistan by the Taliban, largely known for their regressive ideas about women, there has been an outpour on social media about the concerns for women currently living in Afghanistan. An image in the ambit of this concern was posted on social media platforms recently which showed a hazy photograph of a handful of women sitting on a ledge and reading books. The women are dressed in modern western attires. The image has had a number of different captions but all of them claim that this image was taken in Afghanistan in the 1970s.

The Taliban had imposed ancient and draconian rules upon women during their rule between 1996-2001 and the rules are now a concern for people living all over the world.

The image has been posted all over the world with similar captions.


Upon reverse searching the image, we found that the image was first used in an article on Foreign Policy titled “Once Upon a Time in Tehran”.

Image used in the 2012 article on Iran

The image is captioned “ Tehran University students lounge in 1971. Tehran University was opened to women in 1934 when the college was founded. After the revolution, women were still allowed to attend university — but they now sit in segregated areas.” The courtesy for this image has been given to Kaveh Farrokh, who is an acclaimed Iranian historian.

We can therefore conclude this claim is false.