The first use of the slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom" goes back to series of protests following the Death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022. The slogan was first chanted in Amini's funeral in Saqqez and then was heard in the initial protests in Sanandaj after the funeral. On 21 September, the slogan was chanted by students at University of Tehran, and by protesters around the country in the following days. On 28 September and the continuation of protests, students at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences used the slogan in their protests along with a new, similar slogan: "Woman, Life, Freedom; Man, Homeland, Prosperity".
Following the expansion of Iranian protests to other cities of the world, rallies were held in different cities with protesters using the slogan "Women, Life, Freedom" along with other slogans. Due to its expansion to cities around the world, and extensive coverage on foreign media, French newspaper Libération used an image of Iran protests with the slogan on the top in Persian followed by its French translation. It was also used at the outro of the lyrics for the song "Baraye" by Shervin Hajipour, who was detained in police custody following worldwide acclaim for the song. The song "Baraye" was later sung in the global protests for Iran on October 1, 2022, in approximately 150 cities around the world.
No to compulsory Hijab
Iranian women have demanded a role in their society for decades. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 led to the ousting of the monarchy and establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, women saw their rights restricted and mandatory hijab-wearing enforced, leading them to speak out against the harsh dress codes and gender disparities they faced, per History Today. This struggle for equality has continued into the present day.
What is going on with all the protest prisoners?
As of beginning of January 2023, roughly 19,200 people have been detained by the Iranian government for participation in the protests sparked by Amini's death. Over 1,000 people are already facing charges such as “waging war against God," and some Iranian legislators are asking for harsher punishments for the protesters, per The Washington Post.