Mahsa was born twice. She was born in a small town in September 2000 and several relatives knew that "God endowed Kak Amini, a daughter." She was later born anew in a chaotic hospital in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
At the time, thousands of young men and women chanted: "Your name has become a symbol."
The name Mahsa now symbolises the cry that has been muffled in Iranian women's throats for years. A cry dating back to the shocking month after the victory of the 1979 "revolution" when Ayatollah Ali Khomeini imposed the veil on women working in government agencies. While women resisted this order for about a year, it was an omen of the dark days looming ahead.
Six months later, before the ratification of the constitution and when a "revolutionary committee" was ruling the country, ‘revolutionary’ men approved new laws that granted a man the right to have four wives at any time he wanted and to divorce a woman without justification. At the same time, it was next to impossible for women to get divorced legally.
In addition, custody rights were taken away from mothers, and the age of marriage for girls was set at nine years old. Later, the regime’s first parliament passed criminal laws which stated: "The blood money of a woman is worth only half of that of a man, and the testimony of two women in court is equivalent to the testimony of one man."
From time to time, women’s anger triggered widespread protests. Still, authorities always managed to quickly extinguish their fire by arresting many people and threatening and intimidating others.
In the early years, women were denied support from political parties and community leaders. Still, with time, people started to realise that oppression and discrimination are like viruses in society which will afflict all people if not contained through mass struggle.