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People around the world are showing support for the women of Iran, taking part in marches and protests, spreading awareness and information, raising funds, and even cutting their hair in solidarity. The brutal death of an Iranian-Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s morality police, sparked a rise in women worldwide speaking up against Iran’s mandatory hijab dress code.
While police officials claimed that Amini had suffered a heart attack in custody during a mandatory hijab training, a video leak showing her in the hospital with bruises on her face and blood dripping from her ear refuted their claim. Protesters believe that police killed Amini over a loosely worn headscarf. In protest of her death and the gender apartheid, Iranian women are cutting their hair short and burning their hijabs. The Iranian morality police have killed hundreds of Iranians attending the protests. Authorities gave a similar cause of death – falling off a roof – for 17-year-old Nika Shakarami, whom Iran’s security forces allegedly tortured and killed in Tehran in September.
With Iranian women’s dress codes fluctuating for the past several decades, it comes as no surprise that citizens have pushed against various regulations in the past as well. However, in light of Amini’s death, female citizens are retaliating as they never have before. New York Times journalist Amanda Taub detailed the history of hijab and head veil regulations, explaining, “In 1936, Reza Shah Pahlavi – the father of the shah deposed in the 1979 revolution – barred women from wearing the veil, or hijab, in public, in an effort to Westernize Iran.” Women across the globe have brought up the fact that all dress codes tend to share one primary goal: controlling women’s bodies. In light of the injustice, chaos, and brutality in Iran, The Foreign Office of the UK recently sanctioned Iran’s entire morality police force, which the regime established, as well as other key public figures. This sanction bans them from entering the UK and any assets held are frozen.
The people of Iran want their voices amplified since their government regime is desperate to silence them. Amini’s mother stated, “Let the world know they killed my daughter.”
(Sources: BBC, Reuters, Foreign Policy, Asia Times, NY Times, Guardian)