The high stakes of hijab protests in Iran

From Axios:

About 30 women have been arrested in Iran as a result of hijab protests that began in December when one woman, Vida Movahed, silently waved her hijab in the air for an hour atop a utility box on the crowded Enghelab Street in Tehran.

Why it matters: In a country where women have been punished for not observing “Islamic values” in public, this is a bold move. Haleh Esfandiari, Director Emerita and Fellow at the Middle East program of the Wilson Center, told Axios that the protests are “very interesting, very bold, very courageous,” but “on the other hand, this has been going on in Iran for the last couple of years in different ways.” […]

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, a woman born in Iran who is now the executive director of the International Civil Society Action Network, told PBS: “The hijab is an important symbolic and practical element, but taking away the hijab is not enough. What women are really fighting for in Iran is equality under the law.”

Esfandiari told Axios that “if the Islamic Republic was wise, it will just leave the women alone.”

“These are the children of the revolution. Despite all the indoctrination, brainwashing, teaching in schools, preaching day-in and day-out, it didn’t effect these young people at all. These people are connected to the world…they make themselves heard,” she said.