Masih Alinejad's My Stealthy Freedom Facebook campaign has won an award in Geneva
Iranian journalist, Masih Alinejad, has received a human rights award in Geneva for her social media campaign encouraging Iranian women to post selfies without their hijab to protest against the law that forbids them to do so in public.
The Facebook campaign began last year and soon captured the attention - not only of countless women in Iran - but also the West and now boasts over 774,989 page likes.
Over the last year thousands of Iranian women have been posting their pictures optimising their campaign with a powerful hashtag: #MyStealthyFreedom.
The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy has now endorsed Alinejad's campaign with an 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.'
Iran's history of the veil is a long and complex one: as it stands under the Islamic governance of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and since the 1979 revolution, women must cover their head and neck to conceal their hair.
Although the law has tightened-and-relaxed over the years, alarming reports began circulating last year suggesting a rise in violent attacks against women for allegedly not adhering to Iran's dress-code.
For instance, only last October eight women wearing clothes deemed ‘inappropriate’ were disfigured by hardline religious vigilantes throwing acid into their faces in Isfahan.
Alinejad, herself forced into London exile, expressed her hopes for global awareness after winning the award:
'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.'
To check out all the latest #MyStealthyFreedom selfies head to Alinejad's Facebook page here.
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