Women in Iran are required by law to cover their hair in public with a Hijab since 1979. In fact in 2014, The Iranian Morality police found 3.6 million women guilty of wearing 'inappropriate' dresses. They were warned, fined and even arrested for the same, according to Esmail-Ahmadi-Moghaddam, the Head of National Security Forces, Iran. London-based journalist Masih Alinejad started a silent protest against the Hijab law with an online movement. She posted a collage of two photos on Facebook, in one; she's wearing a Hijab and not in the other. She named the silent protest as My Stealthy Freedom. Following her, many young, as well as middle-aged women, have posted their photos on Facebook where they expressed their feelings about the rule and how they feel when they keep their hair open in public.
The Facebook page received more than 500,000 likes within a month. More and more women as well as men are joining this silent protest and hoping that the the law will be removed soon.
There are many reasons behind the enforcement of law, including belief of some people that it is mandatory in Islam for women to cover their heads with scarfs. Some people also believe that head-covers are a sign of godliness and purity.
She is not against the custom of wearing a Hijab, she has clearly stated. But, she is against the idea of forcing women to wear it all the time, even in front of their male family members. She was recently awarded the Women's Rights Award for 'giving a voice to the voiceless and stirring the conscience of humanity to support the struggle of Iranian women for basic human rights, freedom and equality' at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in 2015.
As a child, her brother was a symbol of freedom for her who could ride bicycle in their village without having to wear a scarf, unlike her. Alinejad believes that women should be the sole decision makers when it comes to wearing clothes. She says, 'My mother wants to wear a scarf, I don't want to wear a scarf.'
This photograph was taken on the shores of Caspian Sea, north of Tehran, the capital city of Iran.
Many men from Iran are giving open support to the movement by sending photos with women who are not wearing a Hijab.