Following an earlier incident in July in which some Iranian women riding bikes were taken to the police statement to sign pledges that they will never ride bikes in public again, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared a fatwa, a religious law, banning women from bicycling in public because they would attract “the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption”. Therefore, he concludes, a bike “contravenes women’s chastity, and it must be abandoned”. This isn’t surprising from a man who stated a few days earlier that a woman’s “role and mission is motherhood and housekeeping”.
Well, some Iranian women have decided to openly defy this ban not only by biking in public but by sharing pictures and videos of themselves doing so on the popular Facebook community My Stealthy Freedom which encourages Iranian women to demand their basic freedoms even if these are not wearing hijabs or riding bikes. These women are taking a huge risk by doing so since opposing Khamenei can lead to prison or to death.