It's been almost 50 days since Iranian women and even men started protesting against the country’s dress code for women after Mahsa Amini's death. As of now, the death toll related to the Iran protests has reached 230, and over 12,500 have been detained. The Iranian regime has been under pressure due to the strict laws they make for women's bodies and expects them to abide by them.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman was found dead after being arrested by the country's notorious 'morality police', and soon became the face of the protest. Her death caused a rage which then turned to protests all over Iran against the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei regime and again brought to light the famous Kurdish slogan: 'Jin, Jiyan, Azadi'.
Where did Jin, Jiyan, Azadi come from? Jin, Jiyan, Azadi means Woman, Life, Freedom. For the current Iranian protests, the chant started from Amini's burial ground. Soon, the chant became a symbol for all the women who were supporting Iranian. Its Farsi version "Zan, Zendegi, Azadi" " was also heard in the capital city of Tehran.
The slogan that saw history:
It was popularised further by famous Kurdish figures such as Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of PKK ( Kurdistan Workers' Party), in his anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal writings. It was also used by Kurds in the fight against ISIS.
The phrase has been used since its inception by both Kurdish organisations and individuals outside of the Kurdish movement.
Soon, the slogan became an emblem of fighters fighting against repressing the common mass apart from the Iranian Protest. For instance, it was used on November 25, 2015, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in a gathering of several European countries. It was also used in 2018, during Cannes Film Festival, the cast of Girls of the Sun chanted "Jin, Jiyan, Azadî"
Here is a quick timeline, if you have missed what's happening in Iran:
What came next? Solidarity poured from around the world for the women of Iran. Famous fashion brands like Balenciaga, and Gucci added these slogans to their Instagram feed. Uniting these protests around the world was this one Kurdish slogan: Jin, Jiyan, Azadi (Women, Life, Freedom).
Thank you @BALENCIAGA for clearing out all your IG posts so your post about Iran stands on its own.— Yashar Ali 🐘 یاشار (@yashar) October 5, 2022
While this may seem like an empty gesture in other movements, this sort of attention is exactly what the people of Iran need right now.@KeringGroup#MahsaAmini #ZhinaAmini pic.twitter.com/GVpIr4lbDc
Bottom Line: What seems more like a hashtag to most, Jin Jiyan Azadi is more than that. It represents women, their autonomy in their lives and their need for freedom.