Iranian Women Allowed Into Soccer Stadium For The First Time 40 Years! Every year 11 October is International Day of the Girl Child, where we are called upon to continue to fight for girls and women’s rights and equality as part of the social justice and emancipation agenda through dispelling patriarchal notions deeply embedded in all facets of our society.
The day coincided with a historical feat in the world of sport and football as girls and women were allowed into soccer stadium in Iran for the first time in 40 years to watch a football match played by men.
The sight of women in the stands at Azadi Stadium for Iran’s game against Cambodia marks a decades-long push for the right to do so, following a 1981 ban that followed the country’s Islamic Revolution.
Iranian female soccer fans entered the national stadium to watch their side thrash Cambodia 14-0 in Tehran.
Iran’s ban on women attending sports stadiums is not written into law but was put in place shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The change followed the death of a fan who had set herself alight after being arrested for trying to attend a match.
But following pressure from human rights group and world soccer governing body FIFA, Iran agreed to permit women to enter the stadium.
“This is a very positive step forward, and one which FIFA, and especially Iranian girls and women, have been eagerly waiting for,”
“The passion, joy and enthusiasm they showed today was remarkable to see and encourages us even more to continue the path we have started. History teaches us that progress comes in stages and this is just the beginning of a journey. FIFA will continue to work closely with them, to help ensure that the right thing is done, which is to allow all fans, irrespective of gender, to have the chance to go to the stadiums and enjoy a game of football.
“Consequently, FIFA now looks more than ever towards a future when all girls and women wishing to attend football matches in Iran will be free to do so, and in a safe environment. There can be no stopping or turning back now.” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
“We had fun for three hours. All of us laughed, some of us cried because we were so happy. We had this experience very late in our life but I am so happy for younger girls who came to the stadium today.” one overjoyed woman posted on Twitter after the historical day.
This is indeed a positive move that encourages girls and women to continue to pursue their dreams relentlessly uplifting their self-esteem along the way. Utmost respect to all of the Iranian girls and women who courageously stood and are standing up for their rights.
By Gerald Dandah