Fridays for Freedom: Baluchi Women's Plight for Democracy

On Friday, November 25th, 2022, a small group of Baluchi women set off on a protest in the city of Zahedan. This was the first recorded instance of women in Sistan and Baluchestan protesting since September 2022. Since then, Baluchi women have gathered to protest every Friday.

Sistan and Baluchestan is a south-eastern province in Iran, and one of the most deprived. The majority of Baluchi people are Sunni Muslims, a religious minority in Iran, and face prejudice as a result of their faith and ethnic background.

Baluchi men have been very present in the 2022 protests in the beginning, but women had not taken to the streets until November. Men came to the streets on the same day for support.

They are often seen in traditional Baluchi garments with their faces covered. Sometimes, their young children join them, holding their hands. They protest the regime and the Supreme Leader.

In their recent protests in January 2023, they are seen chanting: “No to monarchy, no to Supreme Leader, [we want] an equal democracy.”

They have also protested the death penalty and executions.

To see more from Baluchi women’s protests, refer to our collection here.