Iranian journalist wins rights award for hijab campaign 

Journalists

Feb.25: An Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad has received a human rights award in Geneva for creating a Facebook page inviting women in Iran to post pictures of themselves without their headscarves in defiance of rules requiring them to wear a hijab.

Alinejad, 38, launched Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women last year, attracting more than half a million likes on Facebook in a matter of weeks. Thousands of women took off their veils in public and sent in their photos to be published.

The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, a group of 20 non-governmental organisations, gave Alinejad women’s rights award for “giving a voice to the voiceless and stirring the conscience of humanity to support the struggle of Iranian women for basic human rights, freedom and equality.”

Alinejad’s campaign, reported in the Guardian last May, irritated Iranian authorities, and state-affiliated media launched a smear campaign accusing Alinejad of using recreational drugs or being perverse.

Alinejad said that she was delighted to win the award and hoped it would raise awareness about Iranian women demanding basic rights.

She said in a statement published on the summit’s website that, “From seven-year-old schoolgirls to 70-year-old grandmothers, women in Iran are all forced to wear the hijab.”

Hopefully this award will create an opportunity for the voices of Iranian women who say no to the forced hijab to echo throughout the halls of the United Nations.

 The Oslo Times

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