IGP Stories

Iran on fire: Once again, women are on the vanguard of transformative change

Fatemeh Sadeghi and Vrinda Narain

17 October 2022

On Sept 16, 2022, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died in Tehran, Iran, while in police custody. Amini was arrested by the Guidance Patrol, the morality squad of the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran that oversees public implementation of hijab regulations, for not wearing a hijab properly. Soon after the news of her death was broadcast and a photograph emerged on social media of her lying in a Tehran hospital in a coma, people throughout the country became enraged.

Amini’s death starkly illustrated the systematic violence of police and highlighted particularly the brutality of the regime towards women and minorities. She was Kurdish, a member of one of the most oppressed minority ethnic groups in Iran.

All Iranian women who are routinely humiliated because of their gender can empathize with her. But Kurds and Kurdish women in particular understood the political message of her death at the hands of police and the state’s subsequent violent response to the protests.

The huge wave of protests in Iran following Amini’s death represents a historic moment in Iran. People have taken to the streets shouting slogans against the compulsory hijab and denouncing Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Read the full article on The Conversation

Dr Fatemeh Sadeghi is a Research Associate at TAKHAYYUL, an ERC-funded project at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP). Dr Sadeghi's research is on political imagination as a constellation inspired by theological, historical, and intellectual traditions to make envisioning a different future possible.

Photo by Artin Bakhan on Unsplash

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