The women and girls of Iran who are fighting against forced hijab are in danger of arrest, imprisonment violence and death. In September 2022, Mahsa Amini (22) died in hospital following her incarceration in Vozara Detention Centre for a supposed violation of article 638 of the Islamic penal code through the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This has been law since 1979 and enforces the use of the Islamic hijab in public places and on roads.
Today, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer who has defended Iranian women’s rights activists for decades, is being held at Qarchak Prison for refusing to wear the hijab. She was at Evin courthouse on 30 October 2023. Nasrin is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Iranian Women’s Movement Museum, a member of the International Association of Women’s Museums.
We understand Nasrin was supporting a number of women who had been detained at the funeral of Armita Geravand (17) on 28 October 2023. Armita was also a member of ‘the movement’ protesting against this law of enforcing the wearing of the hijab.
The International Association of Women’s Museums has membership across the world and many women in our network are currently living in conflict zones. Many in our community work in the areas of social and gender justice and are vulnerable to arrest and oppression for their beliefs. In 2022 we issued a statement on our stance on violence against women, we would ask our members to read and share this statement.
We send our support and solidarity to our members in the Iranian Women’s Movement and all women across the globe who fight against oppression. These laws come from the system of the patriarchy, which, as an organization, we are working to dismantle.