Iranian Women Show Feminists What Oppression Really Looks Like

Iranian media reported on Friday that police in Tehran have arrested 29 women for appearing in public without wearing a hijab, the Muslim headscarf that is mandatory for women under Iranian law.

Some of the women in question were deliberately defying the hijab law to protest its injustice, as in the case of one detainee who reportedly waved her headscarf around on the end of a stick in a street protest. Another woman named Shima Babaei took off her hijab in front of a court to make her dedication to the protest clear:

Supporters of the movement have created #FreeShimaBabaeei and #FreeHijabProtesterhashtags on Twitter to monitor the cases. The movement has been dubbed #WhiteWednesdays and has its own hashtag, as well as a social media presence under its formal name, My Stealthy Freedom.

“For almost four decades, we, the women of Iran, have been unhappy about compulsory hijab, and we had the fear inside our hearts. But now … I think the government of Iran, they have the fear of these brave women,” founder Masih Alinejad told CBC Radio on Wednesday.


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