Women rights in Iran are severely restricted to a point where women are not allowed to watch or attend men’s sporting activities in the stadiums. It is a ban that extends to the volleyball obsession in the country. This has led to the emergence of new campaigns, such as #Watch4Women being championed by the Human Rights Watch and other organizations like www.maryam-rajavi.com.
According to the campaign organizers, the main purpose of this campaign is to ask the FIVB to uphold its rules and regulations. If upheld, it will mean that Iran cannot be allowed to host future volleyball tournaments unless women are allowed to attend and spectate on the games.
Banning women from attending sporting events in the stadiums is emblematic of the repression that women face across the country. Womenfolk confront grave discrimination on many issues such as those touching on child custody, divorce, and marriage.
Women in Iran opposition and those opposed to some of the politics advanced by the government have in the past been sent to jail as a lesson to others. Speaking out in favor of equal rights is frowned upon by the current administration as well as by past regimes.
The government is committed to ensuring that the country’s population continues to increase. For this reason, the administration has gone as far as banning voluntary medical procedures that can cause a woman not to become pregnant.
For Iranians, this is just but the tip of the iceberg.
While women are clearly oppressed, repression in Iran extends to its politics. Iran politics are such that any person who openly criticizes the government risks being arrested and detained. The government has also been public discriminating against ethnic communities such as the Baloch and the Kurds.
Discrimination has also extended to people practicing the Baha’i faith.
The country holds elections on a regular basis, and Hassan Rouhani, its president is on record stating that he wants reforms to occur in the country. But while this is a view shared by many in the country, the proverbial ball, including all the power in the country lies with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He is the country’s supreme leader.
His office is in charge of overseeing everything in the country from the media, judicial courts, to its military.
While many groups are championing for women rights and gender equity, the situation on the ground is actually direr. It may not be possible to list the abuses in terms of what should be first or last, but there are numerous restrictions aimed at curbing free speech.
Iran is considered the biggest jailer of Social Media Activists, bloggers, and journalists.