This year’s “National Hijab and Chastity Day” in Iran was unusual in more ways than one. On July 12, Iranian women took to the streets and publicly removed their veils in protest against the country’s hijab rules. They also posted their videos on social media.
US-based Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejab tweeted her video supporting the protest against the hijab in Iran and wrote: “As we promised! We take off our hijabs and I hope everyone will join us. Forcing women to wear the hijab is not part of Iranian culture. . It is the culture of the Taliban, the Islamic State and the Islamic Republic. Enough is enough. #No2Hijab”
As promised !
We take off our hijabs and hope everyone joins us.
Forcing women to wear the hijab is not part of Iranian culture. This is the culture of the Taliban, ISIS and the Islamic Republic. Enough is enough.
— Masih Alinejad
Alinejab launched the “My Stealthy Freedom” campaign on Facebook in 2014, where she shared photos of unveiled women sent to her.
For months, protests against the hijab have been gaining ground in the republic. Human rights foundations had urged women to use “#No2Hijab” on social media, as well as videos. High inflation in Iran, low pensions and unpaid wages have added fuel to the fire.
What is National Hijab and Chastity Day?
Iran has had a strict hijab rule since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Women and girls over the age of 9 must wear a head covering in public.
Every year, July 12 is celebrated as National Hijab and Chastity Day in Iran to promote the veil. The day was chosen as the day of hijab and chastity to commemorate protests that took place in 1935 in Mashhad after Iranian leader Reza Shah banned women from wearing the Islamic veil, according to the Jerusalem Post.
According to a Reuters report, the current government has taken a tougher stance towards hijab rules. Again this year, as protests unfolded across the country, the government held a “chastity ceremony” at a stadium in Tehran.
He also released a video showing 13 women in a “Hijab and chastity” ceremony. The women could be seen wearing green hijabs and long white dresses, dancing to the narration of verses from the Quran.
However, with the protests, Iranian women have found a hero in social media. The #hijab_without_hijab hashtag was reportedly the second most tweeted hashtag in the country.