Masih Alinejad Named One of Time Magazine's Women of the Year
03 Mar 2023
Iranian Activist and APB Speaker Masih Alinejad was recently named by Time magazine as one of its 2023 Women of the Year. Alinejad was selected along with 11 others who Time says are "using their voices to fight for a more equal world."
"The 12 women featured on this year's list come from across the globe and have made a significant impact in their respective communities and fields, from activism and government to sports and the arts," Time says. "Many of them have faced immense challenges that inspired them to push for change."
Challenges, indeed. Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist and women's rights activist, gained worldwide attention when she removed her veil, or hijab, and posted a photo on her Facebook page standing proudly with her hair blowing in the wind. From that, My Stealthy Freedom was born—her viral social media campaign against compulsory hijab that became the biggest civil disobedience movement in the history of the Islamic Republic. Today, it has almost 11 million followers.
Iranian authorities responded violently, arresting protesters and violating their rights while in custody. Alinejad continues to oppose the compulsory hijab and to speak out in defense of her fellow activists. She is one of the most prominent and vocal opposition figures challenging the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Her work has angered Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei so much, his men attempted to kidnap Alinejad in 2021 and attempted to assassinate her the following year, according to a U.S. Justice Department indictment.
Today, she lives in an FBI safehouse with her husband and son. And yet, she refuses to stay silent. "Women of Iran are his (Khamenei's ) biggest enemy," Alinejad told Time. "He's scared of us more than anything."
Alinejad's commitment to human rights has won her the UN Watch's International Women's Rights Award, the AIB Media Excellence Award, the Swiss Freethinker Association's Freethinker Prize and the American Jewish Committee's Moral Courage Award among other honors.