On Sept. 16, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in Iranian police custody after she was detained for allegedly wearing a mandatory hijab in an improper way, according to CNN. While Iranian authorities claim Amini died of a heart attack, her family and protestors allege she was beaten and killed by police (her family also said that she had no pre-existing heart conditions). Iranians have taken to the streets to protest for the past 11 days, and at least 76 protestors have been killed by Iranian security forces, including 23-year-old Hananeh Kia. Hundreds more protestors and journalists have been arrested and injured, and Iranians across the country are now facing nationwide internet restrictions and shutdowns.
This isn’t the first time Iranians have come together to fight for women’s rights. In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in Iran and deemed that all women had to wear a hijab. The next day, on International Women’s Day, tens of thousands of unveiled Iranian women took to the streets to protest. Today, Iran’s Islamic Republic still requires women to cover up in public, including wearing a hijab or headscarf to completely conceal their hair, according to AP News. The issue for many Iranian women is choice — to have the choice to dress how they want, and to be able to freely choose whether or not they wear a hijab or headscarf.
As the Iranian protests and internet crackdowns continue, here are several educational Instagram accounts to stay informed on what’s happening in Iran and learn how to help fight for women’s rights.
Instagram account @so.informed posts digestible political and social content to help users stay informed. The account has also been posting about what’s happening in Iran, citing reputable news sources and breaking things down in layman’s terms.
Middle East Matters (@middleeastmatters) is a community organization that works to help amplify Iranians’ voices and educate others. The organization has been posting numerous videos and updates about what’s been happening, as well as tangible resources for how to help.
Feminist (@feminist) is an intersectional community on Instagram that advocates for women’s rights and equality. The community recently partnered with @muslimgirl to educate their followers on how to speak about what’s happening in Iran, explaining, “This isn’t your convenient opportunity to equate hijab with oppression.”
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran (@iranrights) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working towards the advancement of human rights and democracy in Iran. The organization has been posting educational videos on what’s happening and has uplifted other educational accounts on their Instagram Stories.
- Honorable Mention: @tytysplanett on TikTok
OK, so this isn’t an Instagram account, but Persian creator @tytysplanett on TikTok has been posting important updates on what’s happening as someone who actually lives in Iran. Her first video posted on the app went viral on Sept. 21 and has received over 3 million likes, where she said, “I’m cut out from everything around the world. I can barely text my friends. I have absolutely no Internet connection. I don’t know where my friends are. They haven’t answered my texts. I don’t know where my family is.”
Since then, she’s posted two more detailed videos breaking down what’s happening and how people around the world can help, and she plans on posting more updates in the days to come.