OPINION: Women in Iran need everybody to stand with them


Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views

Women in Iran have been casting their headscarfs off and throwing them into bonfires as a form of protesting and advocating for their rights.

On Sept. 16, Mahsa Amini, 22, died after being arrested by the Iranian “morality policy” and transferred to a reeducation camp for not wearing a headscarf. She, along with countless others, are losing their lives just for fighting for their basic human rights. In recent protests, people are advocating for these rights. I hope these protests lead to a change for the better in Iran and that men around the world start supporting these women. People need to speak up for rights for all human beings. 

For generations, women in Iran have had to fight for their basic human rights — like the right to choose their own dress codes and to attend men’s sports games in stadiums. When I heard about Mahsa Amini’s story, I was appalled that these situations are still happening in this century. I was angered by the fact that in some places like Iran, women are controlled and policed so much that they lose their lives. 

As a senior at St. Edward’s minoring in global studies, I have always been interested in the politics and way of life in the Middle East. I’ve studied Arabic for several years and have always been fascinated by the beauty of the culture.

My role as an outsider in this situation is to let Iranian women know I stand with them. I am constantly reminded by the news and social media that freedom is never free; it must always be defended. I am choosing to fight with them for their rights, because an attack on women’s rights is an attack on all human rights. People should be speaking out about what happened to Mahsa and the countless others who are losing their lives fighting for freedom. I have hope that if more people around the world continue to speak out and protest in support of women’s rights in Iran, then this worldwide pressure would force their government to make some changes.

Social media plays a huge role in these events. I’ve seen TikTok videos of Iranian women expressing their frustration and sadness about the state of their country. I have seen Instagram posts of women protesting out in the streets, cutting off their hair and burning their hijabs as people — including men — surround them, clapping and cheering. Around the world, women’s rights are constantly being stripped away, not just in Iran. If people do not start speaking up for the rights for all human beings, then the future of the generations to come and the future of this world will continue to have their rights stripped away.