Women in Iran are protesting the country’s strict dress code that requires women to wear headscarves by posting videos and pictures of themselves on social media wearing white clothing on Wednesdays. In the images, women are seen wearing white headscarves and white clothing, and are sometimes even depicted taking their white headscarves off.
As Reuters reports, the campaign — #WhiteWednesdays — was started by Iranian activist Masih Alinejad, who began encouraging women last month to post photos or videos of themselves wearing white. The movement is a protest against Iran’s Islamic law, which requires women to cover their head and wear long, loose clothes. In 2014, the advocacy group Justice for Iran found that over a decade, almost half a million women were cautioned and over 30,000 were arrested because of the hijab law.
“My goal is just empowering women and giving them a voice. If the government and the rest of the world hear the voice of these brave women then they have to recognize them,” Alinejad told Reuters.
Alinejad, a journalist who now lives in New York, shares images of women without hijabs to protest the dress code on her website, My Stealthy Freedom. The videos and images are submitted by volunteers and shared on social-media platforms, including the My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page, which has more than half a million followers. Alinejad notes that some Iranian men have also taken part in the campaign.
She told Reuters her goal with the campaign is to increase visibility of the issue and create solidarity among women. “I want people to talk. I want people to have a platform and talk together because having a free conversation is something Iranian society needs,” Alinejad said.