Iranian women discard their hijabs for 'stealthy freedom' Facebook page

Women have been posting pictures of their brief moments of freedom after removing their hijab in public

Women in Iran have been posting pictures of themselves after 'stealthily' taking their hijabs off in public, in a country where it is illegal for a female to leave the house without wearing a headscarf under Islamic law.

Over 150 photos have been posted to the Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women Facebook page which has amassed more than 140,000 likes since it was created just a week ago by the Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad.

Ms Alinejad, who left Iran to pursue her studies in the UK in 2009, told The Independent the page began when she posted a photograph of herself driving down a road in the country without wearing a headscarf.

The image was captioned with: “Hijab is being forced on women not only by the Morality Police, but also out of consideration for family, through wanting to keep a job and because of fear of judgment from others."

"I wrote that I had experienced all of these pressures too," she explained. "I was sure that most Iranian women who don’t believe in the forced hijab have enjoyed freedom in secret, [so] I asked them if they wished to share this moment of stealth freedom."

The picture that started it all - Masih Alinejad driving in Iran The picture that started it all - Masih Alinejad driving in Iran The response she received shortly after starting the page was "staggering", something she feels "delighted" at, but not surprised by.

In the photos, which Ms Alinejad publishes without including full names, women in different outdoor environments can be seen after removing their hijabs alongside a few words describing the lack of freedom embodied in having to wear a hijab, or what it means to be briefly remove it in public.

The site is dedicated to Iranian women inside the country "who want to share their 'stealthily' taken photos without the veil".

Ms Alinejad said: "It is a basic right for any person to have freedom of choice. Women in Iran, along with many other countries, want to choose what they wear. It should not be legislated nor should it be enforced."

One post shows a smiling woman stood by the Valasht Lake in Iran, accompanied by the caption: “I was bursting with happiness to feel the wind through my hair without someone around to see it and warn me to keep covered properly.”

In another, a woman can be seen sat by the Tomb of Cyrus in Iran with her back turned to the camera. "The police officer who was around saw that my daughter and I wanted to take photos with our scarves taken off," she explains in the accompanying text.

"He said: 'Go on..take your photos the way you please. The person who has been sleeping here for long years is the source of the whole world's freedom and this place belongs to everybody.'"

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has expressed more progressive views than his predecessors since his election. On the subject of the strict Islamic dress code that includes the hijab, he said he was against a crackdown on women wearing looser clothing in the sweltering summers.

"I'm certainly against these actions," Rouhani told youth magazine Chelcheragh in response to religious police who monitor loose hijabs and inappropriate clothing during the warmer months earlier this year.

"If a women or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or her virtue should not come under question.. In my view, many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should be on the virtue."

However, more conservative men and women have staged protests in Tehran demanding authorities act on women wearing 'bad' hijab.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam