Women across the world, especially the ones living in male-dominated societies, are at the receiving end of unnecessary and unjustified inequalities. One such woman, who was punished for attending a sports event, was Ghoncheh Ghavami. A British Iranian citizen, who studied law in London, was arrested for campaigning against the rule that forbids women in Iran to attend all-male sporting events.
After receiving heavy criticism from countries and media worldwide, the Iranian government claimed that the arrest had not been made because Ghavami was trying to go for the volleyball match but because of her alleged "propaganda against the regime.” After being sentenced to prison for one year and having already spent five months in jail, she was unexpectedly released from the prison yesterday.
While in jail, Ghavami faced some health problems and went on hunger strikes protesting her arrest. According Iran's Sharq newspaper’s Twitter page, she was released on 23rd November after paying bail amounting to $38,000. Her brother, Iman Ghavami, told the BBC's Newshour, "Everyone is happy - my parents and my sister. There are many possibilities, we're not really sure what's going to happen, but we hope for the best outcome. For the time being... it's her 26th birthday tomorrow morning, so I think they're going to celebrate for a day or so."
Protesting against her arrest, hundreds of people signed a petition demanding her release. The British government tried to intervene as well, but because Iran does not recognize Ghavami’s dual citizenship, they were unable to provide assistance.
According to a report by The Independent, Andy Slaughter, the MP from Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush, where Ghavami lives in London, said, "Though this is an important development we must continue the campaign until charges against her are dropped and she is free to travel outside Iran. With the family I will be meeting the Foreign Office Minister this week to discuss what more the UK Government can do for Ghoncheh, who is a British citizen."