Sunday, February 21, 2016

Iranian Women Banned From Attending Men's Volleyball Game

Iran banned women from attending the International Beach Volleyball Championships that ended Friday, the world volleyball governing body said.

The International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) said allowing women to attend the five-day competition at Iran’s Kish Island had been a condition of its decision to let the Iranian volleyball federation host the men's tournament for the first time.

Female fans in Iran are traditionally barred from attending male-only sports matches. In my opinion, it seems that at least men and women can sit side by side and cheer on their favorite sports team and/or sports player. I feel that if men and women can't sit side by side they should at least let the women have their own cheering section. I love, respect and cherish different cultures, religion and beliefs and the many rules that come with each. But in this modern age of the 21st century, men and women should be allowed to cheer together in the same stadium when the event is an international event. The following video is a depiction of Iranian women arriving at a sports complex but at the entrance is a large sign that displays, "No Women Allowed."

The ban on women's attendance violates the “Fourth Fundamental Principle” — on nondiscrimination — of the FIVB’s own constitution, Human Rights Watch said ahead of the beach volleyball event. Well, this controversy is a huge contradiction to the FIVB's own constitution! Typical behavior from people with money, power and influence.

According to Human Rights Watch, the 2012 ban on women's attendance at men's volleyball matches followed a decision by the Iranian Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to extend the 1979 ban on women attending games in soccer stadiums. I wonder why they extended the 1979 ban? This ban seems to be unfair and outdated if you ask me.

An appeals court in Tehran has dismissed charges against an Iranian-British woman who was jailed for trying to attend a men’s volleyball game, meaning that she will not have to return to prison.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, a young Iranian-British woman who was initially
detained while trying to attend a men’s volleyball game in Tehran.
Photograph: AP
Ghoncheh Ghavami, a 26-year-old law graduate of Soas, University of London, was released on a £20,000 bail in November after spending five months in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. She was arrested in June for taking part in a protest against a ban on female fans entering stadiums alongside men and subsequently sentenced to a year in prison.

Last summer of 2015, Ghavami stood outside Tehran’s Azadi stadium wearing a white scarf and holding up a placard. Along with a number of other women’s rights activists, she was demanding to be allowed to watch Iran’s volleyball team play against Italy. The Islamic republic has a longstanding ban on women attending big sporting events alongside male fans.

She was taken into custody that day and released several hours later but in late June 2015, when she went to collect her mobile phone, which had been confiscated after the protest, the authorities re-arrested her.

While in jail, Ghavami went on a hunger strike, refusing food and water, for several days in protest at her detention and the judicial uncertainty surrounding her case. Campaigners including her brother, Iman, and mother, Susan Moshtaghian, highlighted her ordeal and pleaded with the authorities for her release. Amnesty International also described her as a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for participating in a peaceful protest.

Ghavami’s detention was an embarrassment for President Hassan Rouhani and his moderate administration, which has taken a softer stance on social freedoms. Rouhani supports the principle of women being allowed to watch games in stadiums, but says that a change of policy is not at his discretion.
Insolent Politics.

Sources: Voice Of America, TheGuardian.Com