Iran: Ladies back inside stadiums soon

source: NYtimes.com / Al-Monitor.com

Iran: Ladies back inside stadiums soon Finally, after 35 years of waiting, women will soon be allowed back into Iranian football grounds. This unexpected announcement came on Saturday and marks the end of complete ban, replaced by partial one.

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Since the Cultural Revolution in Iran (from 1980) women have been banned from attending sports events of male sportsmen. Officially as a measure to safeguard their purity. It wasn’t until last Saturday and numerous protests by activists that the ban was lifted.

That breakthrough, commonly associated with Iran’s agreement on nuclear program limitations, is still a limited one. Female viewers are still not allowed at events involving male nudity and brutality, like swimming or boxing.

While the decision has been confirmed by National Security Council whose opinion is decisive, it’s still not certain to what extent women will be allowed to watch football. Separate sections are to be created for individual women and separate for families, while men are still expected to occupy most of the stadiums. Will it be all fixtures or will some be excluded, it’s still not clear.

Abdolhamid Ahmad, the deputy sports minister, called for a new atmosphere in stadiums, which many Iranians consider too rowdy and “not Islamic enough” for women. “Stadiums must become family-oriented, and the atmosphere there must be softened,” Mr. Ahmad said.

The step follows very active opposition to the ban from female activists in recent, as well as international pressure from bodies like FIFA. Over a decade back women began a campaign to reclaim “their half” of the giant national stadium in Tehran.

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