According to reports, an Iranian chess player has participated in an international tournament without wearing a hijab. She became the latest addition to the list of sportswomen to take part in a competition without hijab as part of protests against the government.

Notably, there have been protests and demonstrations all over Iran since September when 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini died in police custody who had detained her for her “inappropriate attire.” 

For the unversed, the hijab- a kind of headscarf- is mandatory as per Iran’s stringent dress codes. However, a Reuters report has quoted reports from Iranian outlets Khabarvarzeshi and Etemad which claim that chess player Sara Khadem competed at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship in Kazakhstan without the compulsory headgear.

However, the same report has gone on to claim that Khadem has not commented on the issue and neither does her social media handle contain any information regarding the same.

As per the International Chess Federation (FIDE) rankings, Khadem is ranked 804th in the world. The competition in which she reportedly participated without the hijab has also listed her as one of the participants in both Rapid and Blitz events.

Iran football team refused to sing national anthem at FIFA World Cup 2022

The ongoing protests in Iran gathers support from people from all spheres which is the reason it has been able to sustain for months now and managed to get attract the world’s attention to the issue. Women have played a central role in this movement as they have not only refused to don the hijab but also burned them to send a message to the country’s leadership.

Athletes-both male and female- have helped take the cause to international forums. While Elnaz Rekabi, a climber, competed in South Korea without the hijab before saying that she had done it unintentionally, perhaps the most spectacular display of protest in front of the entire world was when Iran’s football team refrained from singing their national anthem before their opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

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