The combative and disobedient women of Iran, heroines of the year for ‘Time’

The women of Iran received this Wednesday a special mention as heroines of the year by the magazine Timewhich applauds his “fight for freedom” movement with an illustrated report featuring three women portrayed from behind, holding each other up, and portraits of young people challenging the system.

The article that follows, signed by the Iranian-American journalist Azadeh Movaeni, describes the evolution of the Iranian women’s struggle through acts of disobedience to the protests that began five years ago, led by the so-called generation Z.

At the center of the most recent protests is the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, arrested by the morality police for violating the dress code and sparking “the most sustained uprising in the 43-year history of the Islamic Republic.”

Movaeni points out that the young women who are currently leading the movement for women have already shown their “combatant character” before Ameni’s death, since they have succeeded in “effectively abolishing the mandatory hijab” and led to a modest modernization of the dress code in Iran.

In this sense, he wonders why his generation did not take the initiative to challenge the obligatory nature of the hijab as a way of rejecting “the errors of the system”, which has led to the present “feminist revolt”and instead focused on “unwinnable battles” over legal discrimination.

“The movement they lead is educated, liberal, secular, born of higher expectations and desperate for a normalcy: college and foreign travel, decent jobs, rule of law, access to the Apple Store, a meaningful role in politics, the freedom to say and wear what they want”, he summarizes.

“They are quite different from those that came before them; sometimes they seem more like a transnational Generation Z than Iranian: they are vegan, they de-Islamize their names, they don’t want children,” he adds.

The women of Iran and Volodímir Zelenski, protagonists of ‘Time’ magazine. Time

Volodimir Zelensky, person of the year

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been elected by Time as the person of the year and assures that his success “as a leader in times of war has been based on the fact that courage is contagious”.

In his article dedicated to Zelenskythe magazine, which each year selects the person it believes has most influenced the world, argues that there was not much in Zelensky’s biography to predict his willingness to stand up and fight the Russian invasion.

In this sense, he points out that he had reached the presidency in 2019 from the world of the arts, where he had been a comedian and film producer, and this experience, far from playing against him, turned out to be decisive in becoming a leader.

“Zelenski was adaptable, trained not to lose his temper under pressure. He knew how to read a crowd and react to their moods. and expectations. Now her audience was the world,” the publication says.

The magazine also notes that after months of downplaying the risk of a full-scale Russian invasion, even when US intelligence agencies warned him it was imminent, when it began Zelensky gave his generals the freedom to run the front lines.

Meanwhile, he was focusing “on the dimension of the war where he could be most effective: persuading the world that Ukraine I had to win at all costs”. The article on Zelenski’s personality, written by the journalist Simon Shuster, is part of her trip to the city of Kherson after being released.

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