Iran is currently birthing one of the biggest women’s revolutions in history. The death of 22 year old Mahsa Amini resulted in weeks of violent unrest and social media protests. Celebrities like Yara Shahidi are using their platforms to educate their fans on what’s happening in Iran.
Amini, who was from Iran’s Kurdistan region, died suddenly in police custody after being detained last month by morality police in Iran’s capital, Tehran. They held her for allegedly failing to fully cover her hair and defying the country’s strict dress codes. Amini died three days later.
Police say that she died after falling ill and slipping into a coma, but her family has spoken to witnesses who say otherwise. Witnesses told them that she had been beaten by officers. The official coroners report released last Friday (Oct. 7) shows that she did not die due to blows to the head and limbs but from multiple organ failure. Amini’s family has filed complaints about how investigations are being conducted.
Since over 50 French celebrities are standing in solidarity with Iranian women by cutting their hair online. There are several videos, which show each woman cutting pieces of their hair to protest the unlawful practices and strict dress code against women in Iran.
Some supporters aren’t buying the French support and say that cutting strands of your hair (that will soon grow back) is not a sufficient protest for the several women dying on behalf of the growing cause.
Here’s a video from Now This News showing the social media movement:
Actress and activist Shahidi, who is the daughter of an Iranian father and African American mother, publicly shares her support for the moment people are coining the largest women’s revolution to date. She posted about the cruelties women are facing in Iran on her personal social media account.
Shahidi shared a video, which explains what’s happening in Iran. She mentions their Internet outage, minimal news coverage and overall challenges that Iranians are facing to get the word out right now.
(THANK YOU @kingraam FOR THIS VIDEO EXPLANATION).”
Shahidi continues to share videos and photos to support as she learns more about what’s going on.
A few ways you can support the protestors in Iran:
Share News From Iran
Experts who have lived in Iran should write opinion pieces and contribute meaningfully to local and national press. The issue is that the Iranian people do not have access to share online with Internet outages and social media being access being suppressed. However, it’s important to keep sharing the news we do see to keep these stories alive.
Attend A Protest Or Teach-in
Take to the streets and protest. Attend teach-ins, screening and other educational events which allows for community to continue sharing news and knowledge on the movement.
Support Human Rights Organizations
Donate money and support human rights organizations such as, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watchand the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. As of Sept. 24. an Oslo-based group called Iran Human Rights estimates at least 154 people have been killed. Without a reliable government source of information and limited journalism allowed in the country, human rights organizations serve an important role of documentation.
To learn more about the history of women’s rights in Iran, here are a few book recommendations: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi, Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa, and Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter by Azar Nafisi.
Follow These Accounts To Stay Updated
Social media is a great way to stay connected and updated on current news. Follow these accounts ran by advocates and organizations who are supporting women in Iran and help amplify their messages: Nazanin Boniadi, actor and Amnesty UK Ambassador; Masih Alinejad, activist and journalist; Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran, a nonprofit organization; Middle East Matters, a youth-run organization; Naaz, a Kurdish singer and artist; Human Rights Watch, an organization; and Gissou Nia, Director of Atlantic Council Strategic Litigation Project.