A video of five young Iranian women filming themselves dancing without headscarves went viral around Women’s Day. There have been allegations that the women were arrested and forced to express regret over their actions.
The video shows the women dancing at Ekbatan, a residential district in Tehran, to the song “Calm Down” by Nigerian singer Rema, dressed in crop tops and high-rise denim. The viral video spread widely over all social media platforms last week around International Women’s Day on March 8.
Recently, actor and singer Selena Gomez took to Instagram to hail the five young women and added that every young girl and woman in Iran who was demanding fundamental changes was inspiring.
Iran Women Dancing Without Headscarf
Reportedly, activists from the Ekbatan area first posted the video on Twitter and Telegram. They claimed that the authorities had been asking the residents of the area to identify the women.
On Tuesday, activists alleged that the police had detained the five women and forced them to make a confession video in which they were compelled to express regret.
In Iran, it is illegal for women to not wear headscarves and dance in public. The abolition of this headscarf rule has been one of the demands of the protest movement that happened in September 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly. She died while in police custody three days after her arrest, and this sparked a huge women-led revolution in Iran.
A video of four of the women, their heads covered in scarves, stepping forward one by one and expressing regret surfaced on social media. Reportedly, the video seems to have been taken in the same Ekbatan area, but both the video and the circumstances under which it was made can’t be verified. It remains uncertain whether or not the women have been released by the police.
Ekbatan is a neighbourhood filled with young professionals and middle-class families. The area has repeatedly witnessed anti-regime actions in the past few months.
Singer Rema retweeted the video of the women dancing and wrote, “To all the beautiful women fighting for a better world, I’m inspired by you, I sing for you, and I dream with you.”
The said video also grabbed the attention of German member of the European Parliament Hannah Neumann. “It might not have been newsworthy, but then they danced in Iran,” she tweeted. Neumann also alleged that the regime investigated the women, imprisoned them, and forced them to confess and wear hijab.
Suggested Reading: A Feminist Revolution Like No Other: Iranian Women’s Fight Against Historical Oppression