Masih Alinjead is the founder of My Stealthy Freedom campaign against compulsory hijab which since its launch in 2014 has become the largest civil disobedience campaign for women’s rights in the history of Islamic Republic. Masih is a prominent voice advocating for women’s rights and empowerment and has been recognized by BBC Persian and Iran Wire as one of the 50 most influential women in Iran.
Born and raised in Iran, Masih was a parliamentary journalist in Tehran, where she exposed corruption among the lawmakers. Later, as a columnist for Iranian newspapers, she challenged establishment political figures including former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Forced to leave the country in 2009 in the aftermath of the disputed Iranian Presidential elections, Masih spent five years documenting human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic. She wrote and produced a 57-part radio series on the victims of the crackdown on protesters against the rigged 2009 elections and followed it up with a 2-hour TV documentary on the families of the victims.
Masih has written a memoir: The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran,” (published by Little Brown in May 2018), an intimate story of her life growing up in a village to her campaigns championing women’s rights. The memoir was selected by The New York Times as one its books of the summer. In its review, the New York Times described Masih, as “The woman whose hair frightens Iran.” She has won millions of followers in Iran through her campaign of challenging the Islamic Republic’s discriminatory laws against women.
Masih is the writer and host of satirical news show Tablet, shown on Voice of America, and has written articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Independent. She has also spoken at many universities including Georgetown, Yale and Stanford as well as at conferences including the Women in the World, Facebook, and the Geneva Summit.