In mid-September Mahsa Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman died after being arrested by the Iranian morality police for allegedly flouting veiling laws. She was beaten so badly she slipped into a coma and died in hospital. Her death ignited spontaneous protests by people across the social spectrum and throughout the country. These are continuing.
Under the slogan ‘Women, life, freedom’, the protests feature women and girls, particularly those from Generation Z, who are challenging state control of Iran’s social, cultural, economic and political life. Women are burning headscarves, publicly baring or cutting their hair and dancing in the streets, chanting messages condemning Iran’s conservative leadership, an ageing patriarchy that stands aloof from popular demands.