The alleged murder of Mahsa Amini causes great unrest among Iranian women.


Matt Hrkac

People protesting in response to death of Mahsa Amini in Iran.

On September 13, 2022 (CNN) Mahsa Amini a 22 year old Iranian woman was taken into custody by Iran Morality police and  three days later, on the 16th reported dead. Amini was arrested for violating Iran’s strict dress code, specifically for the way she was wearing her hijab. The hijab is a head scarf worn by women in the Islamic religion. In Iran women are required to wear hijab as well as other covering pieces of clothing. In the 18 days since Amini’s death an increasing number of protests in Iran have broken out. Women outraged and heart broken by the incident have been seen burning their hijab’s and shaving their heads in protest to Iran’s conservative dress code laws. 

The dress code has created
a general concept of decency
for women in Iran,
one that not all women support.

The dress code that Amini was arrested for violating was instituted in Iran in 1979. It requires women to wear hijab and long pieces of clothing that cover the legs down to the ankles, as well as the lower waist. According to the BBC,  when the former Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, came to power he declared that all women in Iran had to wear hijab, with no exception for religion or nationality. Before this law many women in Iran already did wear hijab, however there were also many women who wore more western-looking clothing that was popular at the time. The dress code has created a general concept of decency for women in Iran, one that not all women support.

Since the law has been enforced many Iranian women have protested in different ways, like  pushing their hijab back so that part of their hair shows. However protests have escalated greatly since Amini’s death. Many more women are abandoning and destroying their hijabs all to the cheers of male protesters. These acts have caused heavy crackdown from the Morality police in Iran. Before Amini’s death the police had already increased force on women breaking the dress code. The BBC states that women could face up to 60 days in prison for wearing hijab incorrectly according to the law. Now with these intense protests taking place the lengths the Morality police have been ordered to go are extreme. Women report being beaten and shoved into police vehicles as well as being threatened of being raped by their officers (BBC). Videos on social media have also shown police shooting live ammunition at the participants. “Iran Human Right said it had recorded the deaths of 76 protesters across 14 provinces as of Monday, including six women and four children, although it warned that restrictions on the internet were causing delays in reporting” (BBC). 

The protests related to Amini’s death as well as the dress code have caused Iran’s citizens to look at other parts of their government. People are in the streets of Iran chanting notable phrases such as “Death to the dictator” regarding supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (CNN). The incident has caused general unrest for the people of Iran as the government continues their crackdown on the men and women protesting the dress code.

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