Female chess players protest wearing hijab at Iran world championship

Female chess players protest wearing hijab at Iran world championship

Some of the world's top female chess players are upset that the next world championship will be held in Iran, where players are expected to wear head scarves.

The US women's champion, Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, will not be taking part in the event in Tehran next February due to her concern over the issue, CNN reports.

"Iran has hosted chess tournaments before and women were always forced to wear a hijab," Paikidze-Barnes told CNN. "We don't see this event being any different, forced hijab is the country's law.

This, she said, is "religious and sexist discrimination."

She added: "If the venue of the championship is not changed, I will not be participating. I am deeply upset by this. I feel privileged to have qualified to represent the US at the Women's World Chess Championship and to not be able to due to religious, sexist, and political issues is very disappointing."

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