In Iran, mass protests are well into their second week over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody earlier this month. Tara Sonenshine, professor of practice at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, said on Greater Boston she hopes the protests could bring real change to the country, especially with the wide reach they have had on social media.

Amini was arrested by the “morality police” for allegedly not following the country’s strict dress code for women. Authorities said she had a stroke or heart attack from pre-existing conditions in police custody and died on Sept. 16, three days after falling into a coma. But her family suspects she was beaten and died from blows to the head.

People have taken to the streets in Iran in protest of Amini’s death, with many women removing and burning their hijabs and headscarves in acts of defiance. Nearly 80 people have been killed and hundreds arrested, according to the BBC. Iran’s government has blocked access to the Internet and social media platforms across the country.

“In the past, there's been really an attempt to black out any information,” Sonenshire said. “I think more information is seeping through to people — cellphones and word of mouth. I think also we’re in a time in the world where women and girls, we’ve been in this struggle for a very long time. I think there is a sense of fighting for your rights and empowerment here.”

Sonenshine called for the United States to provide more aid to protesters and put sanctions on Iran in order to support the freedom of its women.

Pardis Mahdavi was arrested by the morality police 15 years ago while giving a lecture on gender politics in Iran. The author of “Passionate Uprisings: Iran’s Sexual Revolution” and provost at the University of Montana recalled brutality she says she also faced at the force’s hands on Greater Boston.

“I think people need to realize this is not just a feminist issue or not just an issue about women and girls. This is a human rights issue,” she said.

Sonsnshine added there is no moral equivalence between what is happening in Iran and in Western countries, as Iran’s top diplomat claimed in an NPR interview Tuesday.

“This is the moment that women around the world — men, boys — your program and others have to stay at this day in and day out. The messaging, the words matter. The narrative matters,” she said. “We just cannot look sideways or look away from this.”

Watch: Pardis Mahdavi and Tara Sonenshine on Greater Boston