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News > World

Iranian Women Score Major Victory in Step Towards Equality

  • Iranian Women Score Major Victory in Step Towards Equality.

    Iranian Women Score Major Victory in Step Towards Equality. | Photo: Getty Images

Published 11 November 2018

The Iranian government allowed hundreds of women attend the Asian Champions League final in Tehran Saturday, where Persepolis played host to Japan's Kashima Antlers.

Fresh off the success for women in the U.S. Midterm Elections, women in Iran are celebrating after the Islamic Republic granted permission for hundreds of local women to attend the Asian Champions League final between Persepolis, and Japanese side Kashima Antlers, in Tehran Saturday. 


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Iranian news agency Tasnim claimed an unknown number of women entered the 100,000-seater Azadi (Freedom) Stadium in the capital, Tehran to watch Persepolis attempt to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Japan's Kashima Antlers.

This is a milestone in the Islamic nation as Iranian women and girls had prior been prevented from attending any men's sporting events in the country since the Islamic revolution in 1979. 

In a sign that equality for women is progressing in the country, around 100 women watched the nation's friendly against Bolivia in October, which Iran (known as "Team Melli") won 2-1.

Elaheh Hamidikia, a reporter for ISNA, said on Twitter about 500 women attended the Asian Champions League final, which ended 0-0, meaning the Japanese side won on aggregate.

Female fans from other countries have previously been permitted to attend games at the Azadi Stadium.

Campaign group Open Stadiums have been lobbying for access to venues for women in Iran, and representatives of the organisation met with FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura this week to hand over a petition signed by more than 200,000 people.

Speaking before Saturday's game, a spokesperson for the group said overturning women's exclusion "has been our dream for decades."

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has also held talks with Iranian soccer authorities in an attempt to find a solution to the long-running issue.


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