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Iranian Hijab Movement

  • 03 Oct 2022

Mahsa Amini was tortured for 72 hours to death- for not wearing a hijab. Who knew that not covering hair modestly could lead a girl to death in Iran? Mahsa Amini's case has filled the nation with rage, and as a result, the Iran government is being questioned, along with a lot of protest for the justice and freedom of women.

The worldwide protests are getting more aggressive every day, including the women burning their headscarves- to show it was an inexcusable reason to arrest someone. Let’s take a closer look at the whole situation.

Protests in France supporting the cause of emancipation of Iranian women

Why did it happen?

The Iranian law strictly recommends women to wear hijabs or headscarves with their regular outfits. Anyone not following this is recently being arrested, warned, or punished severely. Mahsa Amini, a 22 years old youth, was arrested for breaching the dress code of Iranian women. The guards found her dead on the third day of her arrest, which ignited the masses, leading to a clamorous uprising against the government.

A spree of protests in Iran

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian morality police, followed by her death, led to the outbreak of a massive protest by the Iranian women demanding greater freedom. This demand at present is no more restricted to Iran but, has taken the shape of a worldwide protest.

The other important western cities, including Auckland, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Stockholm, Sydney, and Zurich, also saw demonstrations with banners displaying “Women, life, liberty.” The mass sculptured a national strike in the Kurdish cities of Iran and decided not to pay any more taxes to the government.

The security officials claimed the restoration of security in Zahedan, an eastern province of Iran, as well as in Baluchistan after the most tragic protest disarrayed these cities. It is claimed that the police fired on a civilian during the Friday prayer. The story of a policeman raping a convict woman added flames to the fire of protest by the civilians, which resulted in the death of about 40 people.

It was reported that the wounded people from the protest filled the local hospitals from head to toe. The local intelligence unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was allegedly killed, as claimed by the official sources of the Iranian government. Videos of burnt-out fire stations, banks, bus stops, public buildings, etc., flooded social media. The government accused terrorist groups of orchestrating the protest. The protesters disagreed with the acquisition and claimed that the fire was shot at them by the police officials while at prayer.

The possibility of the protest by the masses turning into a nationwide movement across different socio-oconomic classes with a heavy demand is hunting the government. The Iranian government states that they have enough tools to tackle the media, TV, and other forms of news circulation from spreading the protest among the wider masses. Again the government has the equipment to devitalize the protest even if it costs human life.

The intelligence agency levied the charge of the protest upon some foreign agents and terrorist groups. They notified that about 85 ambulances were attacked and MPs kept denouncing the protestors.

As the government strongly opposed street protests, 110 universities, educational centres, faculties, and schools went on strike with students sitting in protest. The struggles of the students have been highlighted well on social media. It was shown that more than 100 university professors signed a statement where they supported the student’s sacrifice for the sake of freedom and liberty.

Earlier protests had been raised by the Cooperation Center of the Iranian Kurdistan’s Political Parties. They demanded the support of the youths of Iran to fight for women's freedom. This protest outraged the citizens of a significant portion of the country, mostly in Kurdistan. In a place called Dehgolan, near the border of Iraq, a shooting was reported by the police. In southern parts of the country, ports such as Bandar Abas saw such protests.

Former Prime minister of Iran and the reformist politician, Mir Hossein Mousavi

After the house arrest of the former Prime minister of Iran and the reformist politician, Mir Hossein Mousavi expressed his advice to the army to stand by the people. As per the statement, the armed forces were given the power to

protect and people and not to oppress them for the sake of pleasing the powerful and mighty rulers. He said that their duty is to support the truth and the nation. The security of millions of Iranians is vested in their hands, so they should follow their duty instead of blindly following the interest of powerful government officials.

As the days are advancing, the flame of the riot is gradually moving upward, and the efforts to suppress the protest by the government parallelly rose at the same pace. There are no signs from any side to stop the clash.

Current situation of women in Iran

Amidst of all this, two Iranian girls successfully sent messages through a VPN about women's rights in Iran, which shook the readers to the core. The summary of the message was-

Women and girls in Iran are threatened if they don't follow the dress code and are not given equal rights. Slowly the government is trying to take away the internet and other resources which can be used to communicate with other country people- trying to make it like North Korea.

This is a serious issue, and now that the message is out, there is hope for some kind of resolution for safety and normal rights for women in Iran.

Looking forward to a hopeful future

We often take what we have for granted, but on seeing Iranian women mistreated and not given even the rights they deserve, it makes one ponder upon the importance of freedom to exercise ones rights. This needs more awareness, attention and support for the Iranian women from the rest of the nations of the world until there is some improvement in the situation. Hopefully, the fierce Iranian women will be able to bring some change with the support of people all over the world.

 Poonam Sharma 
Poonam Sharma is a graduate of civil engineering. She is an old soul who loves music, dance, and art! Apart from these, she likes to immerse herself in writing, singing and sketching.

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