Just over a kilometre from where a monument stands honouring Canada’s “Famous Five” — activists from the 1920s who succeeded in getting women recognized as legal persons — a soccer game is scheduled to symbolize a similar struggle.
To onlookers, the women gathering at Major’s Hill Park Thursday afternoon will appear to be playing a casual game. But what these women will be doing is showing their solidarity with the Iranian women’s soccer team recently banned from taking part in a qualifying match for the 2012 Olympics on account of their hijab.
“There’s a whole generation of women who are becoming marginalized,” asserts Farrah S. Khan, an artist and activist from Toronto, and the founder of AQSAzine. She is speaking at this week’s Women’s Worlds conference in Ottawa, where buzz about the soccer game is growing. Khan, who has posted an online video against the ban, argues that freedom of choice is paramount in the struggle for gender equality.
“We can find our agency from within our own faith, but can the West find the ability to support our rights from within itself?” she asks. (More)