By Martha Ewing ’26
22 year old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of Iran’s Morality Police three days after being beaten for wearing her hijab ‘incorrectly’. Many people disagree with this rule and it is often disregarded across the country. Since her death, around 80 cities across Iran have experienced protests.
In 1981, after the Islamic revolution, the hijab law was passed which meant women were forced to wear a traditional Islamic head covering called a hijab because it is considered the decent, proper, and respectful thing to do in Islamic society. Before the revolution, Islamic women wore Western clothing, jewelry, makeup, and only wore hijabs on the behalf of their personal preference – they had much more freedom. Now, women and men aren’t as mixed. Women have to pray separately to men and have segregated parties and ceremonies. Women can wear whatever they want when there are no men present. Women are discouraged from attending men’s sporting events. Some women prefer to wear a hijab for religious reasons, however people are upset that the government is forcing all women to wear them no matter what their beliefs or preferences are because it violates the human right of choice.
During these protests, women have cut their hair, taken off their hijabs, and even burned them. Many more people have been killed in these protests through the means of guns, tear gas, beatings, and other forms of weaponry. In cities including Tehran, the capital of Iran, police have been granted permission to open fire in the crowds. Officers reportedly shot at windows and threw tear gas into apartments. People, including journalists, have been arrested and internet access has been shut off in many places especially for apps used for communication.
A leader of Abigail’s Circle, Maeren Hay ‘23, said in a brief interview, “It is really important we keep ourselves and our community informed because human rights issues affect all of us and we must be active in these issues as the next generation”. One thing is for sure, the violence in Iran needs to stop and women should be free to wear what they want.