Tanya Hemant, an Indian badminton player, won the women’s singles championship at the 31st Iran Fajr International Challenge in Tehran on Sunday, February 5. Unfortunately, due to laws in Iran that ban men from attending the competition, her father was unable to witness the tournament or the medal ceremony in person. In fact, a sign that said ‘no men allowed’ was hung up at the entrance.
On top of that, the organisers of the event in Iran allegedly forced the Indian player Tanya Hemant to put on a hijab prior to receiving her award, as reported by TOI.
Bengaluru shuttler Tanya Hemanth asked to wear headscarf for medal ceremony in Tehran
The tournament, however, featured mixed doubles matches. As reported by TOI “The women’s schedule was in the morning and the men’s in the afternoon. Only female spectators were allowed to watch the women’s matches. Also, match officials were all women in women’s matches. Male parents who accompanied their daughters to this meet didn’t get to watch a single match. It was only during mixed doubles that men and women players were seen together on the court.”
The narrow mindedness
The TOI report stated that the organisers of the badminton tournament had instructed the players to wear hijabs, even though the dress code in the prospectus did not mandate it.
“The prospectus talked about the clothing rules in the Badminton World Federation’s competition regulations, which is mostly common in tournaments around the world. While we knew that headscarves were a must when women stepped out in Tehran, there was no particular mention about their use during the tournament.”
It is important to note that, due to the Islamic law that was implemented in 1979, women in Iran are mandated to cover their heads and necks with a hijab, concealing their hair.
Notably, In June 2022, Iranian authorities detained several teenagers and other individuals in the city of Shiraz in southern Iran for not wearing hijabs at a skateboarding competition.
Last year, Iran experienced a massive outcry of demonstrations against the compulsory hijab laws; following the death of Mahsa Amini, in the hands of the Morality Police of Tehran.
Following her passing, many women, from schoolgirls to adults, marched on the streets and set their hijabs on fire in protest. To additionally voice their discontent, they cut their hair off and posted pictures of themselves without the headscarf on social media. Despite all their efforts, these oppressive laws remain unchanged, just like those imposed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
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