Nazi Paikidze is currently the reigning U.S. chess champion. This year’s Internation Chess Championship is being held in Iran. The Iranian government told her that she had to wear a hijab, a muslim head scarf, and restrict her contact with men if she wanted to compete, she refused, taking a stand on behalf of women’s rights everywhere. These “morality laws” set forth by Iran for the competition were supported by FIDE, the international organization that coordinates the world chess championship.
On her Instagram:
This is a post for those who don’t understand why I am boycotting FIDE’s decision. I think it’s unacceptable to host a WOMEN’S World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens. For those saying that I don’t know anything about Iran: I have received the most support and gratitude from the people of Iran, who are facing this situation every day.
She is not anti-Islam, but she can not support the day to day oppression of women that goes on in Iran, even if the cost to her was immense. By refusing to abide by the laws, she is losing an opportunity to win $100,000 in awards, which is only a testament to how deep her commitment is to women’s rights.
From The Blaze:
Nazi Paikidze is the reigning U.S. chess champion, but when the Iranian government told her she had to wear a hijab, the Muslim head veil, and restrict contact with men in order to compete in the world competition hosted by Iran this year, she refused. The “morality laws” were supported by FIDE, the international organization that coordinates the world chess championship event.
“By participating, I would be forced to submit to forms of oppression designed specifically for women,” Paikidze told Marie Clare magazine. “It sets the wrong example, particularly for young girls interested in chess.”