Iranian Men Dress In Drag For Gender Equality

Kurdish men are dressing in women’s clothing in response to the punishment given to a convicted man earlier this month. He was paraded down the streets of Marivan in a woman’s dress in order to humiliate him.

1. On April 15, police paraded a convicted criminal through the city of Marivan dressed in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing.

Saman Rasoulpour told Gay Star News, “‘This is the first time in Iran that an accused is paraded in women’s clothes in the streets to humiliate him. It is unprecedented anywhere in Iran.”

2. The campaign “Kurd Men for Equality” launched on Facebook in protest of this punishment.

In response to the judge’s sentence, a local feminist organization, the “Marivan Womens’ Community”, held a protest. One hundred women took to the streets of Marivan in a campaign for gender equality. In solidarity with the women’s protest, men began to post photos of themselves in women’s clothing.

3. The campaign’s tagline reads: “Being a woman is not a way for humiliation or punishment.”

4. A few women have even posted photos of themselves dressed as men.

5. 17 members of Iran’s parliament have signed a letter sent to the Justice Ministry condemning this sentence as “humiliating to Muslim women.”

10. Christopher Schwartz, an american journalist, joined the campaign:

11. No public apology has been made by authorities and security forces in Iran have strongly criticized the campaign.

More photos from the campaign here.

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at


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