Masih Alinejad

Masih Alinejad is a women’s rights campaigner, an investigative journalist, a TV reporter/presenter and documentary filmmaker. In 2014, Masih founded My Stealthy Freedom, an online campaign against compulsory hijab laws in Iran, which invited women from Iran to post photos of themselves without head scarves in defiance of Islamic Republic rules. Her campaign, which has more than 1 million fans, has raised the issue of women’s rights inside and outside the country. As part of My Stealthy Freedom, she launched the #meninhijab challenge where men wear the hijab in support of women’s right to choose. At the same time, Masih writes and produces weekly programs for Voice of America’s Tablet program, which covers Iran’s political and social scene from her base in New York. She has produced award-winning documentaries highlighting the crackdown during the 2009 rigged presidential elections in Iran. She has won awards for her journalism and her human rights work.

Born in a tiny village in northern Iran, Masih became a parliamentary correspondent for Hambastegi newspaper, for which she broke a series of stories on corruption among lawmakers. Her investigative reporting led to her being expelled from parliament’s journalist lobby. She worked for a number of newspapers in Iran until 2009 when she was forced to leave the country or face arrest. After living in the UK for five years, she moved to New York in 2014.