In recent days, Iranian women across the country are taking a bold stand and protesting the government’s stringent dress codes by removing their head coverings in public. Iranian law has traditionally required that women must wear a hijab in public when outside of their homes, but they are challenging the restrictions that have been in place since the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970s.
This defiant act has taken to “stealth with presence,” in which women seek to flaunt their protest by subtly removing their head coverings in public. Despite threats of punishment, Iranian women of all ages led the charge against these restrictions. One woman, Vida Movahed, removed her hijab and waved it on a stick, since dubbed the “Girl of Enghelab Street,” in a powerful demonstration of her protest.
However, this bold move sparked alarm from the government. Since then, a top official from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has warned that the government will use algorithms to identify anyone flouting the country’s dress codes. Questions remain about just how these algorithms would be used in identifying those who adopt a more relaxed policy regarding the headscarf.
While the number of women protesting has dropped in recent days, the movement has been seen to increase people’s awareness and cause wider public discourse on the topic. Iranian women, who are often marginalized and limited in their own country, have taken a brave stance and continue to call attention to the long-standing dress codes and the ultimate goal of women’s rights in the country.