Forough Farrokhzad, a poet from the 20th century, was a real voice for the struggles and strength of Iranian women. She once wrote, “If you want these bonds broken, grasp the skirt of obstinacy.”
These days, women’s rights are a big deal in Iran. In fact, just last September, a woman named Mahsa Amini got arrested because she wasn’t wearing her hijab correctly. She ended up dying while in police custody which caused a major uproar, with people taking to the streets for weeks, shouting “women, life, freedom.”
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is the government’s personal security force, has been trying to shut down these protests. They’ve arrested tens of thousands of people. Some of the authorities are still threatening women who don’t cover their hair and have even put up billboards saying that women who don’t wear the hijab are bringing shame to their families.
Forough Farrokhzad was a big voice in the fight for women’s rights. She was born in 1934 into a strict military family in Tehran. When she was just 16, she married a much older man who was a distant relative. They divorced in 1954 and, because of the laws back then, she lost custody of her son. The next year, she published her first book of poetry, “Asir” (which means “The Captive”).
Farrokhzad’s work continues to be a symbol of defiance against the oppression of women, with copies of her book being sold on the black market.
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