After 40 Years, Iranian Women Allowed To Enter Football Stadium To Watch Live Match
Iranian women took a small step towards a bigger victory as, after 40 years, they were allowed to attend a live soccer game at a public field in Tehran on November 11, Sunday. This step was not only hailed by local newspapers but also Fifa.
According to Channel News Asia, almost 100 women were allowed to go inside the stadium as Iranian giant Persepolis FC battled it out in the Asian Champions League with Japan’s Kashima Antlers.
After a goalless draw, the Japanese side won on aggregate but everybody saw this as a victory for women in Iran. “Women were the winners of Azadi (“Freedom” in Farsi) match,” read the headline of a local newspaper.
Since 2005, Open Stadiums worked with women’s and human rights organizations at home and abroad to bring an end to the unjust gender discrimination. Iranian journalist Elaheh Hamidikia shared a video of women waiting to enter the football stadium.
— Elaheh Hamidikia (@elahehamidikia) November 10, 2018
During this year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia, Iranian women were allowed to enter the Azadi stadium to watch a broadcast of their country’s match with Spain. This proposal was later withdrawn and authorities said that because of infrastructure issues, women cannot enter. The women petitioned and secured their entry after putting up a fight.
This freedom came during the same time as another Arabic country, Saudi Arabia, for the first time allowed women to drive.
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, women were de-facto banned from entering any football field and watch a match. During this revolution, cleric argued that if women were to go to stadiums, they would not be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.
Saudi Arabia never made a law that banned women from driving, they had a ban against giving them driving licenses. If a woman was caught behind the wheels, she would be detained till a male relative comes and signs a pledge that she will not drive anymore.
Women are not allowed to take many decisions in Saudi Arabia without the permission of a male relative, be it marriage or travel. In a progressive world, these regressive laws not only make the country look bad but also slows down their growth.
This small step is a huge victory for women in Iran. The Logical Indian appreciates the move and we sincerely hope that other such backward laws and rules are disposed of in the country.