Iranian Women Rebelling Against Hijab

Keana Saberi, Reporter

In Modern day Iran, where oppression runs high and women’s civil rights are scarce, many women, young and old are taking off their hijabs ( Mandatory Headscarves ) and rebelling against the strict religious government’s rules. In many Modern Muslim countries such as Egypt,  Lebanon, Turkey along with others, wearing the hijab is a choice made by individuals and deciding not to wear it is accepted in society.

Before the Iranian Revolution in 1979, The late Iranian King, Mohammad Reza Shah, a man educated in Europe and keen to bring principles of the Western world to Iran, tried to enforce the separation between church and state. Therefore, women had more freedoms and were bestowed more civil rights, though things were far from perfect.

In today’s Iran, women are wrapped in hijabs and wear conservative clothing while walking out and about starting from the young age of nine.  Sick of the confines of this mandatory government decision woven into their daily lives, many women are taking action. Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist, and reporter now living in exile began a movement when she started a Facebook page entitled ” My Stealthy Freedom”  urging women to post pictures of themselves without the mandatory Hijab. Alinejad does not oppose to wearing a hijab, many people in her family wear them, but she does not approve of the obligatory laws that ban women showing their hair in public.

“There are two Irans, one is on the map – where you see women in hijab. The other is illegal Iran – where women sing, dance, take off their scarves. Everything they are banned from doing they do underground,” Alinejad said in an interview for the Independent. Women in Iran can not only not wear what they want in public, they also can not date, travel unaccompanied, and in some families cannot choose their husband or have rights to their children after divorce. Alinejad’s efforts have swelled into a countrywide movement and with the help of social media platforms, she has reached out to women and men to unveil the violence of Iran’s National guards on protesting women. With her efforts both good and bad are on display, and she wants people to know that even though is receives threats for her life even outside Iran, she is not the brave one. It is the young women who risk their lives every single day for their freedoms and basic human rights. She believes that their endeavors must be aided by the help of men as well, for she stands against misogynistic views and hopes that men and women will stand together to fight for their rights.  Alinejad is an influencer and quite frankly a breath of fresh air who fights against oppression and inequality no matter the consequence. She is brave and true and has made a significant difference in the minds of young Iranian women.

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