Since Khatami’s presidency, another prominent challenge for women has been their participation and celebration of the International Day of Women in the public domain. Despite their difficulties each year and the confrontations with violent aggressions, they achieved the permission to participate in semi-public sectors of cultural places such as universities that are controlled by the authorities. However, women did not confine themselves to semi-public places and they take the risk every year to celebrate in more open public places. Their assemblies are publicized by Iranian blogs and Facebook pages. Amir-Ebrahimi also refers to another significant attempt of women to achieve their rights in the public domain, which is the allowance of women to enter the Azadi’s Stadium in international and important football matches. She expresses:
Because of the nationalistic connotation of football in the recent years, and its importance for Iranians (as one of the rare elements of their integration into the global culture), assisting in the international matches of football became one of the goals of Iranian women. When, after years of isolation, Iran could enter to the world cup in November 1997 after the result of the Iran–Australia match, in which Iran Won, for the first time after the Revolution, men and women together invaded public spaces, and broke Islamic and social codes of andaruni to express their joy…When the football team returned to Iran, women joined men to welcome their national heroes. There, it was one of the first attempts of women to invade and break barriers at Azadi’s Stadium and to enter by force. (Amir-ebrahimi, 2006)
Although women could enter the stadium in June 2005 to attend the match, the request was turned down again in 2006 during Ahamdi-Nejhad’s presidency era and the forces removed women in buses from the stadium site.
Fatima Mernissi believes that, the restrictions identify the borderlines between authority and vulnerability in Islamic societies and between men and women’s interactions. Therefore, breaking and attacking these boundaries and confronting them with these limitations are a kind of emancipation or empowerment. Mernissi’s closure sentences are appealing in this sense:
The frontier indicates the line of power because wherever there is a frontier, there are two kinds of creatures walking on Allah’s earth, the powerful on one side, and the powerless on the other…. If you can’t get out, you are on the powerless side. (1994, 242)
In Persian terminology these boundaries are called “red borders” and crossing these borders means to oppose the Urf. Transgression against the traditions, thus do not mean simply to break the rules but to cross the borders of Urf or Sharia that defines the limitations in women’s self-expression and appearance. Many Iranian young people nowadays follow the global cultural trends such as hairstyles, fashion, body painting, music and many others via satellite and Internet. Their new...