The protest dubbed #the girlsofenghelabstreet, has been hailed by Iranian women on social media as an act of resistance against the regime's mandatory dress code.
By
Sarah Malik

2 Feb 2018 - 3:56 PM  UPDATED 2 Feb 2018 - 4:03 PM

Social media is alight with images of Iranian women protesting the country's mandatory hijab laws, after two women were reportedly arrested for publicly removing their scarves.

A widely shared image last month showed a young woman, later identified as 31-year-old Vida Movahed, standing bare-headed on a box on Enghelab Street in country's capital Tehran, the Guardian reports

A second woman was reportedly arrested on Monday for following suit, sparking a wave of similar protests.  

In a protest dubbed #thegirlsofenghelabstreet, Movahed’s act has been hailed by Iranian women on social media as an act of resistance against the regime's mandatory dress code. 

 

 

 

The women's protest coincided with demonstrations across the country this week, as a new generation of  Iranians agitate for greater social and political freedom.

Social media has proven to be a powerful voice for dissenting Iranians.

The Facebook page 'My Stealthy Freedom', featuring Iranian women sharing pictures and videos resisting the country's mandatory dress code, has more than one million followers. 

The protest echoes the converse but ironically identical interrogation of a Muslim woman by French police, imposing a ban on 'burqini' Islamic swimwear in 2016.

The images of a burqini-clad Muslim woman forced to undress by French police at a Nice beach made worldwide headlines.

The two incidents raise important questions on the way women's bodies are framed by the state, personal freedom, choice and bodily autonomy.   

Zahra Safyari, an Iranian woman who voluntarily wears hijab, tweeted in Farsi she supported the protest against the state imposition of a mandatory dress code. 

 

 “I wear the chador. I chose to wear the hijab, it wasn’t forced on me by my family or the society, nor it was a work requirement. I am happy with my choice but I am opposed to forced hijab and that’s why I appreciate the Girls of Enghelab Street. Religion and hijab should not be compulsory."

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