“Today is #WhiteWednesdays and we remove our forced hijab,” writes Iranian activist Masih Alinejad on her Twitter as she as shares the video of a fellow Iranian woman who is posing with a hijab in her hand.She started the #WhiteWednesdays and #MyStealthyFreedom campaign on social media. Using the hashtag #whitewednesdays, women across Iran are wearing white headscarves or white clothing as symbols of protest, or removing them altogether in defiance.Alinejad, a journalist and author, is leading the charge against the forced hijab and believes that it is the duty of the individual to say no to “40 years of humiliation” women have faced everyday since the revolution in 1979. Women have been forced to cover their heads under a tyrannical government that seeks to control their bodies.In a recent interview to CBS TV in Boston, US, Alinejad explains how the hijab became part of her identity ever since she was a little girl, forced to wear the hijab inside her house as well. “For the Islamic Republic of Iran, it (the hijab) was also a tool to control the whole society of women.”We have been forced to wear a fake identity. We were told this was our culture, our identity, but it’s not. We were told, ‘You will go to hell if you don’t wear the hijab’”.Masih Alinejad to Foreign PolicyCourage Under FireA contentious figure in Iran, Alinejad was forced to leave the country in 2009 because she could face detention for her views of the government. Yet, she is inspiring women to join the campaign against compulsory hijab she started in 2014. At first, the faces of the women were turned away from the lens. Gradually, women started speaking directly into the camera, risking abuse and arrest.Risking Freedom for FreedomSome, like Alinejad herself, have had to leave Iran following arrests. Shaparak Shajarizadeh is one of them. On 10 July, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly removing her headscarf in protest.In February, the Iranian police made 29 arrests of women who removed their headscarves as part of the campaign. The lawyer who represented these women also faced arrest. Women are since using their cameras to record the verbal abuse and harassment they endure."I want to talk to you of my imprisonment. I can’t enjoy the power of choice in my own country...they imposed hijab on me since I was seven," she says, shaking her headscarf off of her head, "while I never felt committed to it and won't be."Women are trying to “get their streets back” by removing their headscarves in public spaces.Dance Dance RevolutionDespite threats and intimidation from men, Iranian women are undeterred. On 9 July, an 18-year-old Maedeh Hojabri was arrested for posting clips of herself dancing on Instagram. Soon after, women in Iran started posting videos of themselves dancing in the streets.As ordinary women across the country dare to protest extraordinarily, Alinejad’s tweet echoes: “I hope one day caged birds will be released”. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.