by Roja Fazaeli and Maryam Foumani
Over the last three weeks we have witnessed widespread protests across Iran and extraordinary shows of dissent from ordinary people. We have been astonished by the bravery of Iranian women who are taking to streets of Iran in acts of protest, removing their headscarves, shaving their heads, demanding rights, autonomy, and an end to the Islamic republic. On Saturday, September 20, Iranian women began a new chapter of feminist resistance when they took off their headscarves and waved them in the air during the funeral of Mahsa Amini. It is fitting that these women-inspired and women-led protests have begun to shake the very core of the Islamic regime. The veiled woman has been the very emblem of the Islamic republic. By removing their veils Iranian women protestors are actively challenging the current Islamic state identity.
Importantly, the protests, which were ignited by the death of Mahsa (Zhian) Amini, a 22 year old Kurdish Iranian killed in custody of the morality police, have transcended ethnic, religious and gender divides to unify Iranians across Iran and beyond its borders under the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom.”