May 15, 2018

The government is in the process of drafting a proposal which would allow female fans to attend sporting events at stadiums, according to Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar. “Many girls and women are sports enthusiasts, so we need to resolve this issue,” Mrs. Ebtekar explained.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Sport and Youth, Masoud Soltanifar, noted: “The decision to allow girls and women into sports stadiums rests with the security agencies and not the Ministry of Sport.”

All previous efforts by President Hassan Rouhani and his predecessor Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give female fans access to sports stadiums have failed.

Foreign media recently reported that five Iranian girls and women attending a football match at Azadi Stadium in Tehran disguised as men. One of the girls, who has attended many events and was wearing a fake beard and moustache, said: “I was at a football match in Ahvaz Stadium on a sweltering day. I realized that the glue holding my fake beard was melting. So I had to leave the stadium holding my face to avoid detection.”

Women could attend sporting events without any restrictions before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Soon after coming to power, the Islamic Republic moved to limit women’s rights.

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