In June 2018, a group of Iranian women started protesting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The main reason for the protests was that the government was not doing enough to stop the sexual harassment of women in public places. The women also felt that the government was not doing enough to protect women’s rights in general. The women’s protests quickly gained traction and soon became a national movement. While the previous protests in Iran had brought the country to the brink of political and social upheaval, the recent women’s protest called for better treatment of women in the country. This movement is among the most successful ones in raising awareness about the harassment of women in public places and the need for the government to do more to protect women’s rights in the present day.
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Protests are common events in Iran that manifest the Iranian people’s frustration with the government’s corruption, repression, and intervention in regional conflicts over the years. The government’s violent response to the protests has only served to heighten the tension and discontent among the populace. Still, such methods have only served further to increase the level of discontent with the government and alienate the population (Kuzub, 2022). The recent Iranian women that protested against the regime’s discriminative gender policies are no different. However, as Gheytanchi (2022) asserts, the protests have shown that the Iranian people are no longer willing to tolerate the government’s repression and corruption and that they are demanding significant change, with women being determined to fight for their rights more than before.
The Iranian women’s protests of 2022 were a series of nationwide demonstrations against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s compulsory hijab policy. The protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian Mahsa Amini at the hands of the country’s morality police in September 2022 in Tehran while being detained for an “improper” hijab (United Against Nuclear Iran, 2022). The protests quickly spread to other cities across Iran, with women of all ages and backgrounds taking to the streets to demand an end to the compulsory hijab policy. The demonstrators chanted slogans such as “death to the dictator” and “no hijab, no force, we want freedom and equality,” calling for an end to the oppressive regime (Gheytanchi, 2022). Unfortunately, the Iranian government responded to the protests with a heavy-handed crackdown, arresting hundreds of women demonstrators and subjecting them to torture and other forms of abuse. Despite the risks, the women of Iran continue to protest the compulsory hijab policy, demanding an end to this oppressive and misogynistic law making the protests a significant force for change in Iran.
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The main features of the Iranian women’s protests were their use of social media, their use of peaceful resistance, and their willingness to stand up to the government. The women used social media to spread their message and to organize their protests. They also used social media to document the harassment and abuse that they were facing (Rodriguez et al., 2022). The women’s use of peaceful resistance was significant because it showed that they were not afraid to stand up to the government. The women’s willingness to stand up to the government was also significant because it showed that they were not afraid to speak out against the government’s policies.
The protests in Iran in September 2020 are a little distinct from those that took place in January and February 2018. The former movements between the years were initially motivated by a desire for better economic conditions and an end to corruption. However, as the protests continued, they became increasingly political in nature, with demonstrators calling for an end to the country’s theocratic regime. The results of the Iranian women’s protests of 2022 were thus widespread and significant. The protests began on International Women’s Day and quickly spread throughout the country (Wintour, 2022; United Against Nuclear Iran, 2022). The protesters who took part in other protests before 2022 played a significant role in instigating and supporting the 2022 women’s protest in Iran, making it a success. Since then, Iranian women’s participation in social change has grown gradually.
The movement equally succeeded in raising awareness of their sensitive issues and winning some concessions from the government. Nonetheless, they ultimately failed to bring about any significant change (Wintour, 2022). As a result, the regime remains in place, and the country’s economic and political problems continue. However, the women who participated in the protests have inspired other women to speak out against the government’s policies, and the movement continues to grow.
The Iranian women’s protests against the unfair hijab policy were significant because they showed that women are not afraid to stand up to the government. The women’s use of social media was also important because it helped to raise awareness about the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in Iran. Notwithstanding the mixed outcomes of the protests, the outcomes of the recent events have inspired other women to speak out against discriminative government policies, which is a step towards significant change in the nation.
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- Gheytanchi, E. (2022, November 14). Women led protests in Iran evolve: Regime controlled industries are the next targets | Wilson Center. Wilson Center Org. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/women-led-protests-iran-evolve-regime-controlled-industries-are-next-targets
- Kuzub, A. (2022, October 31). Protests in Iran will continue as long as demands of people remain unsatisfied, Northeastern experts say. News @ Northeastern. https://news.northeastern.edu/2022/10/31/iranian-women-protests/
- Rodriguez, L., Holz, N., Lowery, T., & Banjo, F. (2022, October 6). 9 Ways to help women in Iran after Mahsa Jina Amini’s death. Global Citizen. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/jina-mahsa-amini-death-what-to-do/
- United Against Nuclear Iran. (2022). Iran’s war on women. United Against Nuclear Iran. https://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/irans-war-on-women
- Wintour, P. (2022, October 5). Are the protests in Iran just doomed to flare and then be crushed? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/05/protests-iran-violence-leaderless-movement-young-women