Should American women really be leading protests against forced veil coverings in Iran? | The Tylt

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Should American women really be leading protests against forced veil coverings in Iran?
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With the announcement Iran would host the next Women's World Chess Championship came a rule that female contestants would be required to wear hijabs. In response, U.S. chess master Nazi Paikidze is boycotting the event to bring attention to an oppressive rule. Critics of Paikidze say it is the responsibility of local women and leaders to push for change, not for an American woman to come in and "white knight" for them. What do you think? Vote below.

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Should American women really be leading protests against forced veil coverings in Iran?
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Paikidze said in an Instagram post:

"I know that a lot of Iranian women are bravely protesting this forced law daily and risking a lot by doing so. That’s why I will NOT wear a hijab and support women's oppression." 

She has been criticized for protesting a subject she only recently learned aboutbut should that really be a knock against her? Paikidze has every right not to attend an event where she would be forced to wear a headscarf and is just exercising her right not to participate.

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This protest isn't going to change the local law that requires women to wear a headscarf. It's easy for Paikidze to protest from the U.S. where she won't suffer any consequences for her actions other than missing a tournament. What her protest fails to do is uplift local leaders.

"'Besides the fact that Muslim women do have agency themselves, the main trouble with this narrative is that it treats these women like children and becomes an instrument of disempowering them'.... the protest will deny Westerners the opportunity to view Iranian women as individuals with their own agency, not waifs who need saving."
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Paikidze has started an online petition on Change.org which, as of this writing, has 14,893 signers—just 107 away from its goal of 15,000. This is an opportunity to bring world attention to an issue that is often misunderstood or under covered. 

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Paikidze is not the only one protesting. Sometimes it takes outside pressure for countries to change how they see themselves. 

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Garry Kasparov is arguably the most famous chess player alive.

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Another way the protest could actually hurt Iranian women is the tournament it's a great opportunity for the women of Iran to participate in a world-class sporting event. Mitra Hejazipour, pictured above, is a chess grandmaster who told The Guardian:

"It’s not right to call for a boycott. These games are important for women in Iran; it’s an opportunity for us to show our strength... This is going to be the biggest sporting event women in Iran have ever seen; we haven’t been able to host any world championship in other sporting fields for women in the past."
#IranianWomenLead
Some international players are saying they don’t want to wear head scarves, but they seem to be making this statement for Iranian women, too: Iranian women shouldn’t have to do this, so we’ll make a stink. But this kind of protest — outsiders who think they know best — is exactly the opposite of what most Iranian women want, and is at the heart of what’s worst about policing how Muslim women dress.
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should American women really be leading protests against forced veil coverings in Iran?
#IranianWomenLead
A festive crown for the winner
#EveryWomansFight