The story

A young Iranian woman named Neda is gunned down in one of the most iconic images of the last week. Another walks down the street, defiantly showing off her hair and body in a revealing dress. And still another woman says she's not scared of paramilitary forces -- no matter how many times she gets beaten.

"When they want to hit me, I say hit. I have been hit so many times and this time it doesn't matter. I just want to help my brothers and sisters," says the 19-year-old woman whose identity is being withheld by CNN for her safety.

Amid the clashes and chaos, there has been a recurring scene on the streets of Tehran: Women, in their scarves and traditional clothing, at the heart of the struggle. Some are seen collecting rocks for ammunition against security forces, while video showed one woman trying to protect a fallen pro-government militiaman wounded in the government crackdown. At Shiraz University, riot police clubbed women dressed in black robes. "Don't beat them, you bastards," one man yells. Read full article »

CNN's Ivan Watson and Wayne Drash contributed to this report.

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