A Revolution Led by Women

The Masha Amini Protests in Iran

Berklee Olsen, Staff Writer

On September 16, 2022, Masha Amini died in police custody. She was taken by police and accused of wearing unsuitable attire. Amini was arrested and taken by the morality police. She was repeatedly beaten and then transferred to a detention center in Tehran. She then tragically died after being in a coma for three days. 

The day Masha Amini died, protests erupted in several cities all across Iran. Protests were held in an attempt to hold Iran’s law enforcement and government accountable for their sexist and discriminatory laws. Women and girls alike all protested the abuse they face every day in several ways. Many women burned their hijabs and cut their hair in an attempt to defy the strict laws that resulted in Amini’s death. Even though the protests were meant to be kept peaceful, Iranian enforcement used violent measures like metal pellets to control protests. Women continue to be at the front of the movement to rid Iran of its outdated and violent enforcement of the hijab and headscarf mandate. 

Women in Iran, along with women all over the world, use social media as a way to spread awareness of sexist laws. Online blogging has become a popular sphere for women to defy the regime. Various hashtags all over Instagram and Facebook pages have been created to bring the Iranian Women’s movement to the forefront of the news. Videos on several different networks have been shared showing the true power and force of the hundreds and thousands of women-led protests. Even after the Iranian government has tried to silence women by shutting down some social media networks, women remain persistent. They continue to post videos of themselves being harassed in the streets and not wearing a headscarf, bringing recognition of the need for change. This revolution continued a month later as the first counter-revolution led by women.