How Gen Z is using social media in Iran’s Women, Life, Freedom movement

How Gen Z is using social media in Iran’s Women, Life, Freedom movement

Iran’s attorney general recently indicated that the country’s morality police had been disbanded following protests calling for the country’s hijab mandate to be lifted. However, the government did not confirm the attorney general’s comments and local media reported that he had been “misinterpreted”.

The uncertainty over Iran’s morality police comes after several weeks of protests that began after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa (Zhina) Amini. Amini died in the custody of the morality police on September 16 after he was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory hijab law.

In the first three months of the protests, demonstrations took place in almost all of Iran’s 31 provinces. People in 160 cities and 143 universities took part in protests against the mandatory hijab laws. Many Iranians living abroad also took part in protests.

These protests are part of a long history of women’s rights movements in Iran. But what makes this movement different is how young women are using social media to elevate their own agency and challenge the country’s patriarchal laws.

Women’s Rights Movements in Iran

Iran has seen several protests since the 1979 revolution. But the Women, Life, Freedom movement launched a new generation of young women at the forefront of the movement.

The first wave of women’s rights movements began more than a hundred years ago with the constitutional revolution in Iran. Many clergy and religious figures at the time were opposed to such a change. Although the constitutional revolution aimed to establish legal and social reforms in Iran, conservative elements “often made political use of “Islam” to erect obstacles to women’s demands for equity.”

After the Islamic revolution in 1979, many women’s rights, such as the law on family protection, which had been secured before the revolution, were suspended.

Since April 1983, the mandatory hijab law has been enforced on all women in the public sphere in Iran. The third wave of women’s rights movements began after the 1979 revolution and several campaigns such as “one million signatures” demanded gender equality in Iran.

Women, Life, Liberty

The latest feminist movement in Iran has changed the equation. Those participating in the Women, Life, Freedom movement have used social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to amplify their message.

Campaigns such as the #GirlsofRevolutionStreet and #WhiteWednesdays are some examples of hashtags that have been used to mobilize young women online and offline against mandatory hijab laws.

In an authoritarian context where women’s bodies are policed, social media has empowered young women to express themselves online. They learn they can be influencers and agents of a movement under the slogan Women, Life, Freedom and challenge conservative religious and patriarchal values ​​imposed on their daily lives by education, media and policing.

Social media has become “an antidote to state violence and its suppression of facts.” Protesters use social media to connect with each other, voice their demands, highlight their bravery and civil disobedience tactics, and show government brutality.

Baraye by Iranian musician Shervin Hajipour has become one of the anthems of the protest movement in Iran.

Social media has given a new generation of young Iranians the ability to break free from the patriarchal rules of the government. Growing up in the social media era, Generation Z is able to educate themselves about gender equality and engage with global feminist movements online.

This includes learning about the values, beliefs and challenges faced by women around the world and the ways in which these challenges can be highlighted and addressed using online platforms.

The #MeToo movement has raised global awareness of the sexual abuse and violence that many women still face. In Iran, #MeToo was more focused on ending the taboo of talking about sexual assault and violence, and raising awareness about the issue. The movement then started in the country female journalists shared their experiences of harassment on the job. Many other women soon went online to expose the harassment and abuse they experienced.

Social media has made it easier for Iranians to tap into global feminist movements and has enabled feminist activists to tell their own stories. Generation Z, as the progressive leaders of the Women, Life, Freedom movement, are making their demands clear both online and offline and challenging the obstacles to achieving women’s freedom in Iran.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *