The compulsory hijab in Iran is being met with fierce opposition from women (and men) across the country. Thanks to a hashtag campaign called #WhiteWednesdays women across Persia are standing in solidarity against discrimination. It has become a symbol of resistance against the conservative Islamic policies of their government. The woman behind the idea, Iranian-born writer Masih Alinejad, has been a symbol of resistance against those policies using platforms like Twitter and Instagram. In person, she has been speaking out across the western world about the compulsory hijab and women's rights.

The compulsory hijab

The country of Iran holds a number of laws regarding women and the way that they are allowed to dress. Since the Islamic Revolution took place in 1979 women have been forced to wear in public what is called the hijab; a scarf that almost completely covers up her face and head. When outside the home they are by law required to wear one. Not all who are compelled, however, do so. There has been a rash of protests recently regarding the dress code and it has evolved into a hashtag campaign.


Started by Masih Alinejad over social media, the #WhiteWednesdays has been going on for several weeks now.

It began as a series of protests where women would post videos of themselves without a veil on. This drew a lot of criticism from the conservative world of Islam. In one post a group of women who were dressed in all black and full veils called the act of taking one off in public "dishonorable." This led to the #WhiteWednesdays movement in which protesters dress in white to show solidarity and make a stand against the compulsory hijab.

Every Wednesday Twitter is full of people in Iran posting without a hijab on, dressed in something white and showing support for resistance against the Islamic State. Using the hashtag, Alinejad has started yet another movement against a government which she seeks to challenge and seems to have done so quite successfully.

Masih Alinejad

Alinejad was a journalist who began to post pictures of herself without a hijab on and many other women in Iran began to follow suit. The online movement called "My Stealthy Freedom" was born in 2014 and has been going strong ever since. She has spoken in public and at international events for women on several occasions about the subject. "My Stealthy Freedom" has been featured in many major news outlets as well.