The Photograph that launched a movement
My Stealthy Freedom campaign against compulsory hijab started with a picture. Political journalist Masih Alinejad posted on Facebook a photograph of herself running freely in the streets of London. She thought it was no big deal, but she received hundreds of comments from women inside Iran envious of her freedom to feel the wind in her hair. Touched by the volumes of emails and commentary, Masih next posted a picture of herself from her days inside Iran but without compulsory hijab taken stealthily.
From the volume of photographs sent by women from inside the country, a movement was born. My Stealthy Freedom took shape first as a Facebook page in May 2014. The campaign has over the past five years challenged the notion that compulsory hijab laws in Iran have popular support.
Today, My Stealthy Freedom has created a number of initiatives through the social media such as My Forbidden Voice, Men in Hijab and My Camera is My Weapon. In May 2017, the campaign launched the White Wednesday’s initiative where women who protest compulsory hijab laws wear white to show their defiance against the challenging the laws. At present, the campaign’s social media platforms has around 3.5 million followers, with around 80% inside Iran and can reach as many as 10 million people.