By: Bailey Stilts
Oct. 4th, 2022:
When Masha Amini, a woman living in Iran, died in custody for protesting the rule for women to use hijab, a movement started to make change. These women cut their hair and burn their hijabs for the rights of women and to protest the brutality used against Amini.
Masha Amani, a 20-year-old Iranian woman, took off her hijab, a required headpiece worn by women of the country, and waived it in the air in protest. She was then taken into custody by the local authority, where she passed away in a coma. Her passing on September 16 lead to the protests that now sweep the country of Iran. Women set their hijab on fire and cut their hair. All in union, with the help of supporters, they protested the unfair treatment to Masha Amini and the unfair treatment to woman. People gathered in the streets to aid in the protest.
Actions have been taken by the Iranian government to put an end to the protests. Over two dozen of the protestors have been arrested by the government (New York Times). In addition to those arrested, a few protestors were killed.
As the woman take to the street to protest, they not only stand up to avenge the death of Masha Amini, but they also fight against the suppression of women. Many of the laws in Iran have made it so that women are constantly inferior to men. Women were forced to hide themselves from the outside. They were and are forced to wear the hijab on their heads to hide their hair and were forced to wear long, dark robes that shielded their bodies. Many laws helped to establish men as the dominant gender.
Although the decision to repeal the hijab and the cloaks is still in debate, the protests that the woman are making has had some influence on the current laws of Iran. Although small progress has been made, some progress has been made towards a couple of other laws like divorce, custody, and marriage laws. The law for women that required that they wear the hijab and the cloaks to conceal their bodies originated in 1979. The laws were created in order to help create a sense of honor and dignity within the women of the country.
With the protests happening in Iran, a member of the United Nations made a statement to the public. He said how the authorities in Iran should not use “unnecessary or disproportionate force” (UN).
Investigation is underway to see how Masha Amani had really passed away. The next couple of months will show what impact all of the protests and outreaches has and will make to the Iran government and laws.
This protest may seem similar to protests like these that have happened before all around the world. Women and other minority groups have been working to protest to change laws and ideas to help make everyone more equal. Recent examples include the Black Lives Matter movement sparked from the George Floyd incident. It can also be seen with the argument about abortion rights. It is important to understand and follow these protests and movements as they shape the future of the government and the world.