Iran Women: Life and Freedom

A man cuts his hair during a protest in memory of Mahsa Amini in Iran (

A man cuts his hair during a protest in memory of Mahsa Amini in Iran (

Maryam Al Janabi, Reporter

An ongoing series of protests against the Iranian Government began in Tehran on September 16, 2022, as a reaction to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The Guidance Patrol, or morality police,  is an Islamic religious police in the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This group arrested Mahsa for wearing an “improper” hijab — violating Iran’s mandatory hijab law. She was arrested because, as the wind blew, a bit of her hair  was revealed, which is forbidden. The mandatory hijab law states that every woman, regardless of race or religion, are forbidden to show their hair. 

According to eyewitnesses, Amini had been assaulted and severely wounded by Guidance Patrol officers leading to her death; although, this is forcefully denied by Iranian authorities. The Iranian government claimed she died of a heart attack, but it was revealed that the Iranian police force murdered her. 

Amini isn’t the first woman to lose her life when violating this law. Since 1981, the hijab has been obligatory in Iran. All women are forced to wear headscarves in public along with loose-fitting clothing called  “dishdasha,”  a long robe traditionally worn in the Middle East. Although Islam is the prominent religion in Iran and the hijab is traditionally required, it’s a woman’s choice to wear it.  Islam doesn’t align with the Iranian government making all women, those who are Muslim and those who aren’t, wear a hijab.

The protests instantly spread from Amini’s town to other provinces within Iran. The government shut off the internet to stop the publicity spread on social media. Protestors challenged the Iranian government more so than in decades. This reminds people that this law has been going on for years and isn’t just the recent oppression that has been occuring. According to Reuters, a news agency company, there have been around 336 estimated losses, along with at least 1,160 people injured; although, this number is growing. 

In protest, men and women have shaved off their hair and burned their hijabs in memory of Mahsa Amini and the loss of victims of the mandatory hijab law.

On Monday, November 14th, new statements came from CNN stating that  227 out of 290 members of the Iranian Parliment signed to sentence the protestors who have been arrested to death stating that it would “serve as a good lesson”.