Women’s rights tighten as government responds to protests
Iran’s health and education ministries have announced that women will be barred from health and education services if they fail to comply with the mandatory requirements of wearing the hijab. In a statement, the Ministry of Education explained that the requirement goes in the direction of “creating a positive and constructive discourse among students on the issue of Islamic culture and beliefs” and “creating a correct and positive attitude and a beautiful reflection on the culture of chastity”. and hijab among students. The announcement is part of an alternative execution plan pursued by the Iranian government after the death of Mahsa Amini sparked protests last September. These new measures include increasing fines – from 5 million to 30 billion rials (about $100 to $60,000) – revoking driver’s licenses and passports and banning internet access for celebrities and online influencers. Authorities are also closing businesses and stores, including pharmacies, that continue to serve women who violate the hijab rule. Despite these new penalties, acts of civil disobedience continue as women refuse to cover their hair in public.
Afghan women banned from UN work
The Taliban have made it known that they intend to ban Afghan women from working for the United Nations. On Tuesday, female UN staff in Nangargar province in eastern Afghanistan were prevented from working. The UN has ordered its Afghan staff, including about four hundred women, to stay at home until they receive additional information. Sources indicate that this ban will be extended to the rest of the country. The move expands a policy implemented late last year barring Afghan women from working for NGOs. “The Afghan people need more help, not less,” Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, said in a statement. “The withdrawal of trained female aid workers reduces women and girls’ access to essential life-saving services, and increases their risks when they have to seek help from men instead.”
Double-Standards is College Basketball Women’s Championship Highlights
The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s basketball championship between Louisiana State University (LSU) and Iowa University was the most-watched NCAA women’s basketball final ever, with 12.6 million of viewers. LSU defeated Iowa, winning the school’s first NCAA basketball championship. The record game was followed by controversy over an on-field interaction between LSU forward Angel Reese and Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark. During the final quarter, Reese waved at Clark, using the “You can’t see me” gesture popularized by wrestler and actor John Cena. Reese has faced intense backlash on social media, with critics calling her “classless”. However, Clark used the same gesture a week earlier in a game against the University of Louisville without controversy. Many are defending Reese, pointing out that this is a racist double standard for Reese, a black woman. “If you celebrated Clark for doing this, but Angel Reese didn’t, you need to take a long look at yourself in the mirror.” Athleticism writer Meg Linehan tweeted.
Title IX Under Review Following State Transgender Bans
The Biden administration has proposed a Title IX rule change that would prohibit blanket policies prohibiting transgender students from participating in sports teams that match their gender identity, while leaving schools with discretion to impose more restrictions. limited to transgender athletics. The announcement came after the Supreme Court denied West Virginia’s request to bar a 12-year-old transgender girl from competing on her daughters’ track and cross-country team. The state relied on a 2021 state law that bars transgender athletes from playing on women’s teams, the college student is now allowed to continue competing while the appeals court hears her case. Nineteen states have passed similar blanket bans for transgender athletes. More recently, Kansas passed a law that bars transgender athletes from participating in women’s and women’s sports from kindergarten through college. “Every student should be able to fully experience going to school in America, including participating in athletics, without discrimination,” Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, said in a statement.