Historic event: after 37 years Iranian women were able to witness football matches

In 2018 the world witnessed a historic event. Are we closer to gender equality?

Historic event: after 37 years Iranian women were able to witness football matches

This year the Iranian women were closer to gender equality since, for the first time since 1981, they were able to witness some men's football matches in a stadium. There were 3 occasions in which it happened: the first was in the framework of the 2018 World Cup Russia, in Iran's match against Portugal, in which, despite not being able to witness it live and direct, they were able to enter Azadi Stadium in Tehran accompanied by their husbands to watch the broadcast in giant screen, according to the Kienyke portal.

Leer en español: Suceso histórico: después de 37 años las iraníes han podido presenciar partidos de fútbol

The second game, which was the first they could witness live, was a friendly between Iran and Bolivia on October 16 in which the winner was Iran. Finally, on November 10 the final of the AFC Champions League took place at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, between the Japanese team Kashima Antlers and the Iranian team Persepolis and Kashima took the trophy. In these last two games the women who attended were not many compared to men; In addition, they were all family members of the players, part of the women's teams or federation workers.

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In LatinAmerican Post we tell you the details of this breakthrough.

Why is it prohibited?

The law has been in force since the triumph of the Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution, in 1979, the year in which the Islamic Republic of Iran was established. The country is known globally for the lack of human rights that exist with women, racial and sexual minorities.

Women are, for example, forced to comply with a dress code and a set of rules to maintain honor; If they do not comply with the above, they are imprisoned and even stoned. This law is part of the honor code and was established that women could not attend sporting events where there was a male audience because the environment and language is not the right one. It is also immoral to see men in sportswear.

One of the excuses for this rule is that, being in the midst of unknown men, can be attacked verbally and physically, so it is best to avoid it.

Why were they allowed to enter on these occasions?

It has already happened that Iranian women try to enter stadiums to enjoy a football game and receive warnings or are arrested and then continue with the legal process. This, little by little, has been questioned by the Iranian government itself, which has criticized these strict policies. According to Infobae "Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who happens to be moderate, expressed on several occasions his willingness to see women in stadiums, but this project clashes with the opposition of the ultraconservative clan."

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This was the reason why on these occasions they were allowed to enter, but there were many who showed opposition and are demanding that this not be allowed again, because for some like the Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazéri this is a sin.

What comes next?

This was a big step towards achieving gender equality in Iran and the Islamic countries of the world, but there is still much to be done. We must bear in mind that there are still many rules that reduce them to human beings less than men and punishments can be very large for things that in the West can be seen as absurd.

The fact that the political entities are putting this in discussion is a very good thing because it can generate big changes and it can close the inequality gap that there is. Clearly this will bring good and bad consequences, but little by little women in Iran will be able to break through not only in the stadiums but also in other areas.


LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

Copy edited by Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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