Iranian women were allowed to attend a volleyball tournament in the country for the first time in five years.
“From now on women can watch beach volleyball matches in Kish if they observe Islamic rules,” said Kasra Ghafouri, acting director of Iran’s Beach Volleyball Organization.
“The Iranian authorities’ decision to allow women to attend the Kish Island beach volleyball tournament is a step in the right direction,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch.
“This small but important step at Kish Island can and should lead to more open spaces and opportunities for women and girls in Iran.”
The Kish Island Open is a premier international men’s tournament organized by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as part of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Women were not allowed to attend the first Kish Island Open, in February 2016, in spite of previous assurances to the FIVB by Iranian officials, prompting renewed calls for reform and a reversal of the discriminatory 2012 ban.
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