Iranian teacher and activist Sara Siahpour

Iranian Activist Defiant After Her Expulsion Over Hijab

Tuesday, 02/20/2024

Iranian teacher and activist Sara Siahpour has made headlines after publicly denouncing her expulsion from her job and vowing to wear it as a badge of honor.

Taking to Instagram, Siahpour declared, "Today, I received the decree of my dignity," adding, "I will turn my expulsion order into a medal and hang it around my neck." She attributed the government's decision to fire her to "publishing unveiled photos and supporting the Woman, Life, Freedom uprising."

The declaration comes as in April last year the Ministry of Higher Education released an announcement signaling a more stringent enforcement of mandatory hijab. Both students and teachers were subjected to punishment for appearing in public without hijab.

The move follows a growing trend of women rejecting the compulsory hijab in solidarity with the Woman, Life, Freedom movement. However, hardliners within the government have escalated efforts to enforce compliance, branding defiance as a punishable offense.

Ultra-hardliner politicians and clerics, advocating for stricter hijab enforcement, have encouraged supporters to intervene under the guise of "calling for virtue and forbidding wrong." The approach has led to confrontations between vigilantes and women steadfast in their refusal to yield to coercion.

In response to the defiance, some ultra-hardliners in parliament have approved the ‘chastity and hijab’ legislation. Proposed penalties include cash fines, revocation of drivers’ licenses and passports, and restrictions on internet usage for those who reject hijab mandates, including celebrities, social media influencers, and bloggers.

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