Iranian women protest hijab as defiant headscarf demonstrations spread

  • Iranian women protest hijab as defiant headscarf demonstrations spread

Iranian women protest hijab as defiant headscarf demonstrations spread

The woman was later identified as 31-year-old Vida Movahed.

Following the example of one woman who became a symbol of popular protest in December, Iranian women now are standing on telecoms boxes and removing their headscarves.

Protests have in recent weeks, the largest in nearly a decade, as Iranians take to the streets to protest and allegations of widespread corruption.

Although her protest and was in women's demonstrations, the image of her act of resistance quickly spread online.

Movahedi has now been freed, according to a January 28 Facebook post by leading Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who said Movahedi was initially released and rearrested. Thousands of people, including men, have changed their profile pictures in support of Movahed.

At least two photos shared on Twitter on Wednesday showed women in traditional black chador robes, standing on pillar box with signs supporting freedom of choice for women. One has reportedly been detained by the authorities, while the fates of the others are unclear.

"I took my scarf off because I'm exhausted of our government telling me what to do with my body", a 28-year-old protester reportedly told feminist author and New York Times columnist Mona Eltahawy. I am happy with my choice but I am opposed to forced hijab and that's why I appreciate the Girls of Enghelab Street. But in 1941 Reza Shah abdicated to the Crown Prince Mohammad-Reza, who relaxed the dress code and allowed women to wear the hijab if they chose.

Sotoudeh, who was awarded the Sakharov human rights prize in 2012, had said she would gladly take up Movahed's legal case but did not know where she was being held. This is not the first time women came out in protest of Iran's law for women.

"Women show their opposition to such forceful approaches by their very clothing, from resisting covering their hair to wearing long boots and leggings", she wrote in a series of tweets this week.

The so-called "hijab protest" seems to have struck a chord with many - especially younger - Iranians. "Since then, we've seen other acts of protests against the imposition of the dress code", Ebadi told RFE/RL in a reference to broad expressions of concern almost four decades ago.