(Persia Digest) – Tehran and some other cities in Iran have seen protests by young girls to the compulsory hijab in recent days. They stand on a high platform, take off their white or colorful head covers, and hang them on a pole.
These young girls, who have taken to the streets of Tehran – mainly on Enghelab St – have been called “The girls of Enghelab St”. Apart from the capital, this is also happening in Hamedan, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Bojnurd. These girls are photographed without their consent and their pictures are going viral on social media.
Vida Movahed, a 31-year old young woman with a 19-month old baby, was the first woman to make such a move on Enghelab St beginning of January this year. She has just been released after spending one month in prison. Her picture went viral on social media in Iran. Yesterday, 29 January 2018, a number of young girls also took off their head covers on Enghelab and a few other main streets in the capital. Photos on social media also showed women doing the same in Shiraz, Isfahan, and Hamedan.
Some say these moves began on “White Wednesdays”, which was started by a female journalist working with the BBC. But, many believe that this a spontaneous move by young girls in Iran.
The late Ayatollah Khomeini, Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, never spoke of the hijab being compulsory after the overthrow of the Shah. Following the victory of the 1979 Revolution, the hijab did not become compulsory for two years. But, in 1981, a wave of limited demonstrations in Tehran took place, in which angry protesters demanded the compulsory hijab. One of the slogans in the demonstrations was “Get the scarf or get the stick”.
After the demonstrations, the government had to make the hijab compulsory for women civil servants in their work place.
Later, young hardline men in the streets forced head covers on women and battered those who did not wear it in some places.
These events were on their way to creating social conflicts, prompting the government and Parliament to ratify laws making the hijab compulsory.