[QODLink]
Sport
Taekwondo allows Muslim headscarves
World Federation aims to encourage Muslim women to wear headscarf at Worlds.
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2009 22:17 GMT

Iran's Sara Khosh Jamal wore her headscarf at the Beijing Games last year [GALLO/GETTY]
The World Taekwondo Federation hopes its decision to allow Muslim women to wear a headscarf in competition will help the sport promote gender equality at the upcoming world championships.

The governing body changed its rules in January to overturn a 2007 decision that formally banned female competitors wearing the traditional hijab under protective headgear.

"This measure means that taekwondo is one of the few sports that treats women and men equally in the Muslim world,'' said Dae Won Moon, chairman of the WTF's technical committee, in a statement.

"We believe that our respect for others' cultures and beliefs will allow taekwondo to enhance its status as an Olympic sport.''

Upcoming worlds

The federation expects women from 140 countries including Afghanistan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates to compete at the October 14-18 worlds in Copenhagen.

It banned the hijab days before the 2007 event in Beijing after being asked for guidance by the Canadian federation after two Muslim girls were banned from a competition in Quebec.

The WTF said then it did not recognise any religion and did not allow anything to be worn under headgear for safety reasons.

It then allowed Muslim women taking part at the Beijing Olympics tournament to wear a headscarf, including Iran's Sara Khosh Jamal who reached the quarter-finals of the under 108-pound weight category.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.