Speed Reading — Women, Life, Freedom - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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Protests by women and girls are gaining in momentum in Iran. They began following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September at the hands of the morality police. She became a martyr after she removed her headscarf and showed her hair in public. Her death started demonstrations around Iran. Hundreds of thousands of women have copied Ms Amini's actions to send a message to Iran's leaders. They took off their headscarves in the streets, on buses and in schools. Many burnt their scarves and cut their hair. They marched in the streets chanting "women, life, freedom".

The uprisings in Iran are from decades of pent-up fury. Women are tired of being obliged to cover their hair. Punishments for violating this law include fines and imprisonment. The death of 16-year-old Nika Shakarami last week has further fuelled the protests. Hundreds have died in the past month. An Iranian professor said hair coverings were the tip of the iceberg. She said: "There's a lot of compulsion in Iranian culture, and so the demand is freedom. The current protests… are engaging students… who are ready to live life freely. They're done with death and grief and mourning."

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