by Vendela Krenkel ‘20
In Iran, where wearing a headscarf is mandatory for women, some young activists are protesting the absence of freedom of expression by uncovering their hair in community spaces. On International Women’s Day, more ladies acted out against the compulsory hijab laws in public demonstrations, some of which ended in violent attacks and arrests by Iranian police officers. This is discrimination, plain and simple, and we need to recognize that ending the mistreatment of women is of utmost importance. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei took to Twitter to denounce the protests and claimed that the sexually deviant lifestyle of the Western Hemisphere caused Iranian women to participate in the stand against what is essentially a national dress code.
In America, we’re used to seeing people from all walks of life and we accept (for the most part) that everyone has the right to choose how they express their religious beliefs. We’ve come a long way in terms of gender discrimination: women have earned the right to vote and proceeded to break traditional values set for them, but we need to recognize that women in other countries may not have that same luxury. As we turn our focus to shattering the glass ceiling, Iranian women are fighting for the right to freedom of expression.