The Women of Iran are our honorees for Muslim Women to Watch 2023, Muslim Girl’s annual list of the prolific Muslim women making our year.
Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman was visiting Iran in September 2022. As she was exploring the streets of Tehran, the morality police approached her concerning the way Amini had draped her hijab. According to the morality police, Amini was wearing the hijab inadequately. This led to her arrest. Amini was beaten in police custody and died from her injuries. The female journalists that broke her story were arrested and have not yet been released.
Amini’s story spread like wildfire on social media platforms. The country of Iran was in uproar. Iranian women took to the streets demanding justice. The widespread protests were an indication that women were at their wits end. For how long will they continue to endure injustices simply for being female?
The women of Iran led a revolution demanding civil rights. They were responding to decades of discrimination and inequality by using their voices during protests and on social media platforms. They were fighting for their rights to dress how they wanted, to travel on their own accord, to be able to receive equal educational and career opportunities like their male counterparts. Even months following Amini’s death the women of Iran have not backed down. Many of them have been killed, sexually abused or detained.
Women in Iran have been leading protests since the 1960s. The Women’s Rights Movement during various time frames in Iran have aimed to achieve one, common goal: basic human rights. The women of Iran are responding to the discrimination and oppression under the Islamic Republic’s laws and regulations, which they considered to be based on a patriarchal interpretation of Islam. The discriminatory laws and practices that the government of Iran imposes on women are a violation of human rights.
It was in 1979 when thousands of Iranian women took to the streets to protest the mandatory wearing of the hijab under the new Islamic Republic government. The protests were met with violent repression, but the women’s rights movement continued to grow and evolve. Decades later, things are the same and the Women of Iran continue to fight for gender equality.
Injustices will no longer go unnoticed and voices will no longer be shunned.
The digitization of women in Iran has made their struggles a global issue. When Amini’s death broke as breaking news on social media platforms, it was evident that technology would play a large role in the revolution that was about to take place. The globalization of technology was witnessed as protesters fled to the streets in countries around the world. People were standing in solidarity with the women of Iran. Injustices will no longer go unnoticed and voices will no longer be shunned. The women of Iran are not backing down and sooner or later, justice will be served.