In recent years, Iranian women have taken a stand against the Iranian government’s strict laws on modesty, challenging longstanding gender roles in the country.
The movement began in 2014, when Iranian women started to leave the safety of their homes and go onto the streets without their mandatory headscarves, a form of hijab that they are required to wear in public. The protest garnered significant attention, as not only were women defying the country’s dress code standards, but many of them were also doing so with their heads uncovered. The act of removing their headdress in public was a powerful statement against the state’s control over their bodies and freedom.
Now, an Iranian official has revealed that the country is deploying algorithms and facial recognition technology to identify and follow protestors participating in the anti-hijab Movement. The official stated that the algorithms can identify any woman who is flouting the country’s dress codes, even if the images of those women have been distorted or taken from a distance.
Women in Iran have long been protesting against the oppressive norms and restrictions of the hardline religious state, particularly the mandatory hijab law. The use of such advanced technology to monitor and track female protestors only serves to underscore how seriously Iran is taking their dissent.
It’s impossible to know what will come of the protests against compulsory hijab, but it’s clear that Iranian women remain determined to fight for their rights and freedom. The Iranian government’s heavy-handed tactics may succeed in deterring some women from participating in the protests, but they seem far from likely to quiet the voices of all the female protestors.