Serious challenge

Iran has been tripped up by the women.

The eruption of nationwide protests in Iran following the death in police custody of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman detained for allegedly failing to adhere to hijab (headscarf) rules is the most serious challenge Iran’s leadership has faced in years.

Oddly enough women don’t like being bullied and oppressed and muffled in yards of cloth.

Civil liberties groups continually spotlight the suppression of women in Iran, an entire part of society who have been the biggest losers of the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Half of society – the half without which there won’t be any more Iranians. (Men are required for that too, but in a pinch you can get by with far fewer of them.)

Iranian women were forced to wear hijab (headscarf) soon after the revolution and have lost many of their rights, including right to travel, right to work and right to child custody over the age of seven. There was little objection to these changes from men at the time.

“The fact that many men are joining the protests shows that the society has shifted to more progressive demands,” says Mehrdad Darvishpour, an Iranian sociologist based in Sweden.

The main slogan of protesters is “Woman, Life, Freedom”, a call for equality and a stance against religious fundamentalism.

The real problem is theocracy. Get the goddam religion (whatever religion it is) out of government. Woman, Life, Freedom, Secularism.

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