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Samira, the silence that makes women indignant

And not even a whisper from the Farnesina

By Gierreuno

The thing that makes the most noise is the silence of the authorities. No stance, no action, no word. For the leaders of world sport, for the organizing committee of Cortina 2021, for our government, the story of Samira Zargari, coach of the Iranian national ski team, does not deserve to be mentioned.

Yet what happened is abnormal and should stir the conscience of the Western world.

Samira Zargari, former snow champion who became coach of the women's national team of Iran, was unable to lead the team to the world championships in Cortina because her husband, making use of a rule of the Iranian code, prevented her from expatriating.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Acrimònia Magazine (@acrimoniamagazine)

It seems incredible that things of this kind happened in 2021 which are unfortunately on the agenda in the Middle Eastern world. In fact, Iranian law provides that a passport is issued to a woman only if there is her husband's signature and that the husband still retains the right to deny expatriation to his partner at his sole discretion.

The Iranian Ski Federation informed the world of the decision taken by Samira's spouse, born in the United States, Turkish origins, an Iranian citizen for just over five years: “Until the last - the managers informed in a note - we tried to find a solution, but it was not possible”.

And so Samira stayed at home to please her husband and the task of accompanying the team to Cortina was entrusted to Marjan Kalhor, another federation technician. Which, chased by a couple of journalists on the Belluno cable cars, took refuge in a laconic “I don't know”. The same “I don't know” pronounced by other members of the Iranian delegation who were asked to comment on the story.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da مرجان کلهر (@marjan.kalhor)

The only one who had the courage to break the wall of silence was Abbasi Forough, 27, an athlete of the Iranian national team who at the end of the first round of the female giant then won by Lara Gut-Behrami, after recording a gap of almost 24 seconds from Mikaela Shiffrin, leader of the initial stage, did not hide behind words of circumstance: “It is not the first time that something like this has happened - he declared -. But I wish the women in Iran, all together, could change all of this. We are trying. I'm sure strong women can break these rules that help men and I'm sure Samira will come out of this stronger than before. We are proud of her, really ”.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da فروغ عباسی ( تیم ملی اسکی ) (@foroughabbasi1)

A declaration of intent that arouses admiration in this girl with a healthy courage. The courage to denounce an injustice that is irreconcilable with the values ​​on which the Western world is founded: what one would have expected from the authorities who instead preferred to escape and hide behind the wall of silence.

A silence that does no honor to anyone, neither to the IOC, nor to Coni, nor to the Cortina 2021 Foundation, nor to the Italian government, on whose territory the World Ski Championships were held.

A government that, at least in the intentions expressed by President Draghi in the speech given to the Senate on the occasion of the first vote of confidence, has strongly posed the problem of gender discrimination.

“The mobilization of all the energies of the country in its relaunch cannot ignore the involvement of women - said the new Prime Minister -.

The gender gap in employment rates in Italy remains among the highest in Europe: around 18 points out of a European average of 10. Since the postwar period, the situation has improved significantly, but this increase has not gone hand in hand with a equally evident improvement in the career conditions of women.

Italy today has one of the worst wage gaps between genders in Europe, as well as a chronic shortage of women in senior management positions.

True gender equality does not mean a pharisaic respect for women's quotas required by law: it requires equal competitive conditions between genders to be guaranteed.

We intend to work in this direction, aiming at a rebalancing of the wage gap and a welfare system that allows women to devote the same energy to their career as their male colleagues, overcoming the choice between family or work. (…)

We therefore intend to invest, economically but above all culturally, so that more and more young women choose to train in the areas on which we intend to relaunch the country. Only in this way will we be able to ensure that the best resources are involved

in the development”.

A speech with a high and noble profile which, in the face of what happened in Cortina, could have suggested a position to our diplomats. On the other hand, not even a small whisper rose from the foreign ministry. And this is not nice.