‘I never wear a headscarf anymore’: Iranian women continue to defy Islamic regime

© Observers

In Iran, women are daring to go out without their headscarves in public places, streets, cafes, banks and even airports. For five months, thousands of Iranians have been pouring into the streets to protest against the Islamic regime. While the protests have waned in recent weeks, Iranians – especially women – have told the FRANCE 24 Observers team that the movement has caused irreversible changes in Iranian society. Our Observers say these changes are not due to any reduced pressure from the regime, but rather a newfound courage in Iranian women and support from society.

Protesters began seeing fewer morality police vehicles in the streets in December 2022, fueling rumours that the regime had disbanded the controversial unit. However, our Observers have underlined that no rules have changed.

>> Read more on The Observers: ‘We continue our revolution’: Iran protesters dismiss claims that morality police were ‘disbanded’

Even if the morality police are patrolling less, there is still pressure on Iranian women to observe mandatory veiling laws. However, the Iranians we have spoken to say that the progress made in five months of protest is something they never could have thought possible.

‘You get the feeling that society has put an invisible safety net around women without headscarves to keep them in the fight’

Mahi (not her real name) lives in Tehran, where she works in a startup.