The power of social media is immense.
In Iran, protests erupted at the end of 2017. With increased food and gas prices, citizens were not happy with the state of Iran’s economy. They were angered that their president, Hassan Rouhani, did not bring about the amount of change he had initially promised.
However, women of Iran co-opted the movement to demonstrate for their own rights. The media may not cover this enough, but social media is here to compensate.
Iran, an Islamic Republic under President Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is a country that enforces mandatory hijab for female citizens. This means, if a woman is in public and unveiled, she could face prosecution by morality police.
The hijab is a symbol of the Islamic faith, and many women wear it happily and beautifully. To them it is a symbol of religious expression. Other women— secular, Christian, Jewish or otherwise— resent being forced to wear a hijab under their government. To them it is a symbol of oppression.
Women have co-opted the movement of these protests to fight against mandatory hijab. The protests continue to this day. When a woman by the name of Vida Mohaved was arrested for removing her headscarf, the protests intensified. A surge of women began unveiling in front of authorities in demonstration (click here for more information on the protests from CNN).
This is not the first time women have stood up. The Green Movement and #mystealthyfreedom are other examples. This recent movement, however, could potentially have a lasting effect.
The photos of these women have been disseminated. Thank you social media.
(Tweets and media have been reposted with explicit permission by Andy Ngo).
With the media focusing on movements like #metoo and #timesup, it is important to remember the women in other parts of the world. The women facing potential prosecution but demonstrate anyway to fight for their rights are an inspiration to us all. It is important to stay informed, to be educated, and to be empathetic to women all over the globe.
To call them badass would be an understatement. These women deserve all the credit the media can give them and so much more.
(This photo is my own).
*This article may be subject to updates.*
Message us on Twitter at @HerCampusLUC with questions, comments, concerns or more information on the feminist heroes of Iran.