Beliefs, diversity and the need for acceptance. Thoughts from a Young Reporter

For many years, now Western countries have strived for liberation, inclusion, equal rights and opportunities for all – however, this is still not necessarily the case across the globe.

In some countries – such as Iran – religious and traditional connotations, structures and beliefs mean that some sections of society are limited in how they are permitted to live their lives.

We have recently seen Iranian women enabled to attend a football match, for the first time in nearly half a century. Approximately, 3,000 women witnessed their national team’s successful victory over Cambodia, though they were kept separate from their male counterparts – having an area of the stadium to themselves.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution (as described on, ) women have been prohibited from certain activities and their stature reduced, in accordance with the beliefs and laws of the Muslim religion.

Gender discrimination is not seen in the same way in various places, which have a different take and understanding on equality in a political and cultural way. This issue, women’s long – term fight for social acceptance, came to a head as a young woman took her life after receiving a custodial sentence for attempting to enter a football stadium in disguise.

Sahar Khodayari, nicknamed “Blue Girl”, set herself alight outside of a court, last month, and in doing so, drew worldwide attention and scrutiny on what is believed to be a draconian outlook and way of life.

Though, Iran loosened this restricted policy on this occasion, there is still a mammoth task ahead for women to be held in the same regard as men, treated with the same respect and afforded the same acceptances, and long – held beliefs need changing and governments and religious leaders need to be less orthodox in their thinking if things are to change with consistency and regularity.

However, Amnesty International say that Iran accepting women at a football match was only a “publicity stunt” due to the constant outcry and negative media spotlight that the previous situation received. In other words, Iran were exceedingly reluctant and unwilling to authorise women to set foot in a football stadium, but they only enabled and tolerated this action for their own self – absorbed gain and to greatly improve their damaged reputation.

It Is not beyond question, nor undefined whether this is the case, nonetheless, Iran’s authorities need to neglect their sexist and extremely old – fashioned stereotypes and perspectives. If this doesn’t conclude, chances are, that more conflict will arise and fans of Iranian football could but significantly decrease.

Discrimination is such a sickening and abhorrent topic and such loathsome and repulsive laws should not be acceptable in today’s society. Our political leaders are not stepping up and instead relying on previous but patronising excuses to let their decisions be accepted.

I personally believe that these laws are purposeless and irrelevant. They don’t serve a point, nor a justifiable reason. In my opinion, laws where one group of people are portrayed to be more dominant then another should be promptly forbidden as political and religious leaders have a better use of their time then to lavish it on a undefinable law that a lot of people disagree with.

As we move towards the year 2020, the world needs more development in  which they apply their laws and reasons for them. It seems as if we are regressing as a global community in acceptance, tolerance and liberation.

Both locally and internationally, we need to continue to pursue inclusivity and diversity within our communities, but while we have religious and political figures determined to use their position to suit their own agenda then the backwards trends we are currently seeing will continue.

By Young Reporter Olivia.
First published in Grimsby Telegraph 12th November 2019