Iranian Women: The Struggle Continues

As of October 14, an Iranian teen, Armita Garavand, has been unconscious since October 1, after being physically assaulted by the country’s morality police for having her hair uncovered. Since then, Armita’s mother has been detained by Iranian officials. She has not been seen since October 11. In the hospital, unconscious Armita is being guarded by Iranian security who threaten anyone who dares to speak out about the incident with arrest or worse.

Armita is not the only Iranian woman to have suffered at the hands of this sexist Iranian dress code and its cruel enforcers. A year ago, the nation’s women and their supporters took to the streets to protest the mandatory head covering after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police. But as thousands of people spoke out, the authorities doubled-down on a hyper-religious and conservative culture of female oppression. In the last year, many women and girls have died or been injured from attacks such as poisonings and toxic gas. Modern technology, such as facial recognition photography, has also been used to target the women speaking out. But despite these dangerous conditions, thousands of Iranian women have refused to comply with the mandatory hijab (head covering).

Meanwhile, the camera that caught the assault on Armita has not been released to the public.

Iranian women like Armita, who are in a state of constant risk when they refuse to wear the hijab, are setting an example to the rest of us who also live in a society of oppression and exploitation every day. They are showing that fighting back must go beyond the explosive moments that take us to the streets. Every day we must all find ways to defy, challenge, and fight back against this system. A few days protesting in the streets every few years will not be enough. We must demand the society we want and we must fight to build it.