World Cup Allows Iranian Women Freedom to Watch Matches in Russia

iran world cup
AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Iranian women are experiencing the freedom to attend mixed sporting events during the World Cup events in Russia without facing the fear or actuality of being punished or experiencing jail time as they would for doing the same thing in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“I love sport, I love football and in Iran women can’t go to watch,” a 20-something Iranian woman named Paria told the Telegraph. “One night I try. I go to the game and I went to jail,” she said.

The incident occurred in March and Paria was reportedly one of 30 women who erroneously thought they would be free to attend a match in Iran. However, when she arrived at the gate with her boyfriend Pedoro and several other friends, they were arrested. While she spent just one night in prison, the experience changed her perception for a lifetime.

Paria’s experience is just a preview of what tens of thousands of other women in the Islamic Republic of Iran are facing and the flickers of hope that they hold on to with the onset of protests that have once again picked up in the nation.

Women have spearheaded protests in Iran as the nation’s mostly secular youth seek to create greater inroads to freedom culminating with the ultimate removal and replacement of the current regime.

In February, Breitbart News reported that police in Tehran arrested 29 women for appearing in public without wearing a hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran.

A movement called #WhiteWednesdays, started by Iranian women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad of My Stealthy Freedom has created tremendous inroads towards empowering Iranians in the movement to end the mandatory headscarf.

In 2016, several Iranian women decided to unofficially participate in the “I Run Iran” marathon; by running from the sidelines in the first-of-its-kind race despite being banned from running in the race itself due to their gender.

Last year, the Iranian regime took another step to prevent women from experiencing the same freedoms as those in the west, and blocking the perceived “cultural infiltration” by banning Zumba – a popular Latin-inspired dance class that includes music from Latin America. The nations’ clerics declared the workout contravenes “Islamic ideology.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.



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