Iran Daily: “Revolution Street Girls” Demonstrations Spread Across Country

A woman waves her hijab near a police car in Tehran, Iran, January 2018

UPDATE 1400 GMT: Iranian authorities have now arrested at least 29 people over the hijab demonstrations, according to conservative outlet Tasnim.

The detainees have been charged with “disturbing public security”. The locations have not been given.

Weeks after protests across Iran, a new type of demonstration is spreading across cities, as women remove mandatory head covering and wave white hijabs on poles.

The first “Girl of Revolution Street” appeared in Tehran on December 27, the day before the escalatoin of protests over political and economic issues. She was filmed climbing atop an electricity box on one of the capital’s busiest thoroughfares, Enqelab (Revolution) Avenue, as she removed the hijab and waved it in the air.

The woman — Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old mother, according to social media accounts — was arrested two days later. She has been freed, presumably on bail, according to human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.

As news circulated of Movahed’s release, a second woman, named as Narges Hosseini, waved her hijab in the heart of Tehran and was arrested. She has reportedly been released on $140,000 bail.

Now several women in Mashhad, one of the holiest cities in Iran, and in Esfahan and Shiraz have joined the demonstrations. Men have also been photographed waving hijabs in support.


A photo of the site of the first demonstration, the electricity box on Enqelab Avenue, shows the inscription, “There is no dress code at this spot,” with a police car parked nearby.

The chador — black dress from head to foot — was forbidden in 1936 during the reign of Reza Shah; however, his son Mohammad Reza, relaxed the dress code when he came to power, making hijab optional for women.

A few months after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the new regime passed a law forcing women to cover their heads and wear wear loose clothing from head to foot.

In 2014 a social media movement, My Stealthy Freedom, featured women in Iran dancing and celebrating as they removed the hijab.


7 Activists Arrested

At least seven human rights activists have been detained in the latest wave of arrests throughout Iran.

Those seized include Behnam Mousavand, Said Eghbal, Dariush Zandi and his wife Sheema Babaee, Mahmoud Ma’soumi, and Leila Farghami.

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  1. There are 28 million adult females in Iran. Just 29 (1 in a million) women have participated in these media stunts encouraged by VOA journalist/activist, Masih Alinejad:

    The law on hijab was conferred three times. Once in the referendum that established an Islamic Republic, then when the referendum for the constitution was approved a few months later. Finally, the law was clarified when the Majlis passed the Islamic Dress Code Act in 1981.

      • If they have participated, then they would have been arrested for breaking the law. Alinejad’ is tweeting photos of the participants, usually one a day. They are in the tens,

        • LOL — I know Iranian authorities can be quite repressive but they don’t achieve 100% arrest rate in even their widest operations.

          • Effective. It isn’t “repressive” to enforce the law. However, the woman in Yasouj apparently did so in the open countryside. That in itself is not a violation since she didn’t so in public view (no need for veiling). But her actions could still be regarded as supporting Alienjad’s Islamophobic civil disobedience campaign.

            The authorities in Iran also managed to arrest virtually all of those engaged in unlawful behaviour during the recent unrest. 4,500 detainees is more than the 4,000 arrested during the much bigger 2009 protests.

  2. Majority of Iranian women support mandatory hejab:

    A poll conducted a few years ago, found that women support the current law on the dress code by 58-42 (more so than men 55-45). A key argument made by Masih Alinejad is that a great majority support voluntary hejab, including those who themselves approve of the Islamic practice.

    • “A full 51% percent of those with a university degree say that wearing the Hijab should be voluntary. By contrast, 60% of those without university degrees support an obligatory hijab policy, either on religious or legal grounds.

      Respondents residing in provinces with a higher Human Development Index are more likely to prefer elective hijab wearing. The percentage of respondents supporting mandatory hijabs, is significantly higher in provinces with a low Human Development Index.”

      • “The percentage of respondents supporting mandatory hijabs, is significantly higher in provinces with a low Human Development Index”

        i.e provinces with low westernization Index

      • All very true, Scott. But is this not just liberal snobbery on your part? The majority of Iranians are not university graduates. Are their views not worth being respected just because they didn’t go to college?

  3. On a point of law, Islamic scholars have debated whether hejab for women is obligatory (movajeb) and what is recommended (mostahhab). Also, they have debated what is proper hejab. Some think it means full covering of the hair, whilst others think it means only modest dress. So, there is still room for the interpretation and implementation of the law.

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