Iranian Women Go to Jail for Removing Their Hijabs in #Girlsofrevolutionstreet Protest

Posted February 03, 2018

The woman was identified as Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old woman.

A note under Article 638 of the Iran's Islamic Penal Code stipulates that "Women who appear in public without the Islamic hijab can be sentenced to up to two months in prison and be issued a fine up to 500,000 rials (roughly $13)". While the rules have been eased, incidents such as protesting by removing their hijabs could still lead to their arrests. However, at least two women have, including one on Monday.

Movahedi became a symbol of defiance after she stood on a metal utilities box on a busy street in the Iranian capital on December 27 and silently waved a white scarf from a stick to challenge the obligation since Iran's 1979 revolution for women to wear head scarves. I am happy with my choice but I am opposed to forced hijab and that's why I appreciate the Girls of Enghelab Street.

In Iran, protests against the hijab are not new, but after anti-government protests in late December they're gaining momentum and a movement called "WhiteWednesdays" is trending online. But in 1941 Reza Shah abdicated to the Crown Prince Mohammad-Reza, who relaxed the dress code and allowed women to wear the hijab if they chose.

"I don't think women can tolerate the pressure [over the hijab] for a long time", Sotoudeh, who has been jailed in Iran for her defense of human rights, told RFE/RL by telephone from Tehran.

"These women are saying, 'It is enough - it is the 21st century and we want to be our true selves, '" the Iranian activist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Video of the Girl of Revolution Street's protest went viral, and more women were emboldened to express their dissatisfaction with compulsory hijab in similar protests. Pictures posted on social media showed the woman wearing a green wristband, in apparent reference to the civil liberties movement whose leaders are still under house arrest.

Iranian women have more quietly resisted the hijab for decades by pushing the boundaries of acceptable dress and criticizing the restrictions.

The woman from the iconic protest image that activists have been imitating was reportedly freed on Monday after spending about a month in jail. The unidentified man is seen standing on a metal box while holding a white scarf.