A female member of the Construction Engineering Organization of Tehran province flung away her headscarf at the election of its board of directors after she was barred from running because she did not wear the mandatory hijab.
A video that went viral on social media on February 17 shows the mainly men audience applauding when Zainab Kazempour threw her headscarf to the floor and walked away from the voting session.
"I do not recognize the assembly that does not allow candidates to run for not wearing a headscarf," the defiant engineer said on stage.
She also referred to the violence and abuse that Iranian women who do not comply with the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code are facing in Iran.
🎥 ویدیوی منتشر شده از بر زمین انداختن #حجاب_اجباری توسط خانم کاندیدای هیئت رئیسه مجمع سازمان نظام مهندسی استان تهران در اعتراض به عدم اجازه کاندیداتوری به دلیل بی حجابی#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/KnayeHibRq— ایران وایر (@iranwire) February 17, 2023
All women in Iran must conceal their hair with a headscarf while in public and wear loose fitting trousers under their coats.
Kazempour's bold act of defiance comes amid five months of nationwide demonstrations triggered by the September death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police. Amini had been arrested for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly.
Young Iranian women have been at the forefront of the demonstrations demanding fundamental economic, social and political reforms in the country. A growing number of them, including celebrities, have appeared in public without head coverings or have set them on fire in public.
The authorities have cracked down hard on the protest movement, which has morphed into one of the most serious challenges to the theocracy installed by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Security forces have killed more than 520 people and detained over 19,000 since the demonstrations began, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.
مهندس زینب کاظمپور، عضو سازمان مهندسی تهران با برداشتن حجاب اجباری در مجمع این سازمان گفت به به مجمعی که در آن زنان به دلیل نداشتن حجاب اجازه کاندیدا شدن نمیدهند، رسمیت نمیدهد.#مهسا_امینی #اعتراضات_سراسری pic.twitter.com/TjuUXpK1Kx— ایران وایر (@iranwire) February 17, 2023
So proud of my sting and brave Iranian sisters in Iran!
Women, life, freedom!!!