Iran has banned 18-year-old chess grandmaster, Dorsa Derakhshani, from competing in a national chess tournament, just for not wearing the hijab.
The chess player did not wear the hijab while competing in the 2017 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival. Her brother Borna, 15, was also banned from competing in the same tournament. Both brother and sister have been banned from competing in other international competitions from Iran.
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, the head of Iran’s Chess Federation said that the organisation will deal with Dorsa in the “severest way possible.”
They will not be given a chance to play in the national team.
The issue of forced hijabs is one that is gaining prominence. Recently, France’s frontrunner for President, Marine Le Pen, cancelled her meeting with the Lebanese Grand Mufti after she was asked to wear a headscarf.
Iran’s rules on women’s clothing are very stringent. Even foreigners who come into the country are expected to comply with the dress code.
In September, Iran asked the reigning US chess champion, Nazi Paikidze, to wear a headscarf for a tournament, but she refused.
“I think it’s unacceptable to host a WOMEN’S World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens. For those saying that I don’t know anything about Iran: I have received the most support and gratitude from the people of Iran, who are facing this situation every day,” she posted on Instagram.
The Swedish government has come under flak because they are are known as the ‘first feminist government’ but they still went ahead and wore hijab when they went to Iran.