The Iranian judiciary reports that through the intervention of the football federation and other relevant government bodies, Nilofar Ardalan, an Iranian futsal athlete and national team captain, has been granted permission to leave the country to attend championship games in Guatemala. Mizan Khabar reports that the exit permit was issued with the consent of her husband.
According to Iranian law, married women need their husband’s permission to acquire travel documents. Ardalan was prevented from participating in the Asian championships earlier this year. That news drew widespread public outrage, and protest campaigns on social media called on the head of Women’s and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, to remedy the situation.
Molaverdi responded that the law is severely outdated and that her office is working toward reforming it. She added, however, that in the meantime she urges women in similar situations to call her office so that they can find legal alternatives for circumventing travel restrictions.
The law preventing women from traveling abroad without the consent of their male guardian was adopted in 1964.
The Iranian women’s futsal team won the Asian Cup for the first time this year, and despite earlier doubts about the team’s participation in the world cup in Guatemala due to visa and funding difficulties, the ministries of foreign affairs and sports were finally charged by the president to facilitate the team’s participation in the championships.