The Girl from Najafabad

The video of a woman riding a bicycle while unveiled and giving victory “V” signs has electrified Iranian social media.  The unknown woman from the town of Najafabad, near the city of Isfahan, has been arrested according to the security services.

In most of the world, a woman riding a bicycle is hardly newsworthy. But in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where women are treated as second class citizens such an act is tantamount to calling for a revolution.

Such is the nature of the oppression in the Islamic Republic that women removing her compulsory hijab and riding a bicycle are regarded as acts of rebellion.

The Islamic Republic’s laws do not differ much from those of the Islamic State Caliphate, with draconian morality rules for women. Although women have been pushing the limits of the dress code for decades, the regime clamps down on  women who are deemed to be “badly veiled”.

The White Wednesdays campaign against compulsory hijab is a platform for women who resist compulsory hijab laws. The Islamic Republic is terrified of such acts of civil disobedience. That’s why six women were given more than 100 years prison sentence.  

Mojgan Keshavarz was given a sentence of 23 years and six months, while Monireh Arabshahi and her daughter Yasaman Aryani were each sentenced to 16 years of incarceration

For now, the identity of the woman on the bike is shrouded in mystery. But her brave act has energized Iranian women everywhere.

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