Iranians have been protesting for their rights for four decades now, and they are not giving up until they see change implemented in their country.
In the past decades of Iran’s history there has been a war raging on against women. Now, since the death of Masha Amini at the hands of the government, women are relentlessly protesting against the Iranian government that continues to keep them repressed.
Amini was brutally beaten and killed by morality police last month for wearing her hijab too loosely in public. However, this hasn’t been the first case in Iran’s history where women were killed under Iran’s compulsory hijab mandate. The movement is an accumulation of the last 44 years of struggling with: gender, social and political issues.
According to The New Yorker, “…the core of this revolutionary movement, is the bodily autonomy of women, and reclaiming the bodily autonomy of women.”
This slogan was started by a group of Kurdish people that were a part of the Kurdish freedom movement. However, after the killing of Amini, people all over Iran started unanimously chanting, “women, life, freedom” to prove that they are worthy of being liberated.
In 2009, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected into office as president, leading to an uproar among Iranians who believed the election was rigged. Iranians took to the streets to protest for their civil liberties, according to Aljazeera. As Iranians protested, many of them demanded a fair election. This led to the Iranians to ask the question, which became the movement’s slogan, “where is my vote?”
There was constant civil unrest in Iran due to the election of Ahmadinejad. Many wanted to voice how they felt. One of them was 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, a philosophy student, who wanted to take part in protesting the unfair election. However, as she went out into the streets to protest, she was fatally shot. After her death, clips of her bleeding in the streets of Tehran went viral for the world to see.
As Agha-Soltan was rushed to Shariati Hospital, they tried their best to save her, yet they were too late. Hamid Panahi, a friend of Agha-Soltan, commented on her death. “This is a crime that’s not in support of the government,” Panahi told The Los Angeles Times. “This is a crime against humanity.”
Agha-Solatan and Amini, would unknowingly become the symbols of these powerful movements through their deaths.
Throughout history Iranians have fought against a corrupt regime that treats women as insignificant and silences the voices of their people.
NPR journalist Scott Simon, sat down with Assal Rad, research director of the National Iranian American Council, to discuss how the protesting against the compulsory hijab has revealed the instability of Iran’s nation.
Rad says the deadly forces the officials are trying to use to end the protesting shows the true colors of the Iranian government. They want to quiet the voices of the people by threatening or killing them, so they can only hear the sound of their own voices.
Iranians have been protesting for four decades now, and they won’t stop demanding their rights until they are free. NPR said, “Iranians will continue to resist until their desire to have a government that puts their needs over the authoritarianism state.” Therefore, they will continue to push back against the regime that insists on oppressing them.
The movements that have taken place in Iran over the past several decades show the resilience of the people. They believe their nation can turn from its dictatorial ways and represent a more liberated country.