Shaparak Shajarizadeh, named by the BBC as one of the 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2018, is part of a growing wave of activists pushing back against Iran’s compulsory hijab law and participating in protest campaigns known as #WhiteWednesdays and #TheGirlsofRevolutionStreet.
Shajarizadeh was arrested three times in 2017 for removing her headscarf in public, and jailed in both Shahr-e Rey and Evin prisons. Shajarizadeh fled to Turkey where she was later reunited with her son. While there, she learned she had been sentenced to 20 years in prison (with 18 years of which was suspended but has now been reinstated). She and her son are now living in Toronto. Her lawyer, prominent human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh, was convicted of national security crimes in March 2019 and given lengthy jail sentence for defending women anti-compulsory hijab protesters.