Female athletes drop due to headscarf rule - Fusion - WeRIndia

Female athletes drop Iranian events due to headscarf rule

Female athletes drop Iranian events due to headscarf rule

Soumya Swaminathan is a female chess star, a former world junior girls’ champion, and the 97th best female chess player in the world.

She is also the 4th best female chess player in India. However, Swaminathan has recently refused to participate in the 2018 Asian Team Chess Championship. This championship will be held in from July 26th to August 4th in Hamadan, Iran.

She has refused to participate because of the rule in Iran that makes it compulsory for all women to wear headscarves.

Swaminathan said that this rule violated her personal rights, and therefore, she will not be participating in the 2018 Asian Team Chess Championship.

Swaminathan wrote her refusal on her Facebook page. She said that she found the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf wearing for women to be a direct violation of her basic human rights.

These include her rights to freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion.

Swaminathan said that, under the present circumstances, the only way for her to protect her human rights is to refuse to go to Iran at all.

Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, it has been mandatory for women to wear headscarves in public places.

Additionally, women are only allowed to show their face, hands, and feet in public. They are also only supposed to wear modest colors.

This is not the first time that an athlete has pulled out of an event over this very same issue. In 2016, top Indian shooter Heena Sidhu withdrew from the Asian Air Gun meet in Iran.

Sidhu withdrew from the event for the same reason as Swaminathan. Swaminathan herself is very disappointed that the rights of the players are seen as less important than Iran’s religiously-based laws.

She always feels honored to represent India in the country’s National Team, and she regrets having to withdraw from this year’s championship. However, she feels that it is the only thing she can do to protect her basic human rights.

Image Credit: Wolfgang Jekel / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Image Reference: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:London_Chess_Classic_2016_Day5-25_(31834273486).jpg

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