It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Iranian women are exploring new boundaries and opportunities in education and careers - not least female racing car champion Laleh Seddigh - until that is she was banned from competitions following allegations of engine tampering.
Laleh's story is a symbol of what women can achieve in today's Iran.
But her desire to prove she could compete with men at every level ended up costing her dearly.
She burst onto the racing scene three years ago, becoming champion of the 1600GT class.
By exploiting a loophole in the regulations, Laleh found that as long as she respected Islamic dress codes, she could race directly against male drivers - something that does not happen anywhere else in the world.
But while they were obliged to tolerate Laleh's presence, the racing establishment never fully accepted it.
The regime was so put out, Iranian TV was forbidden from showing her on the victory podium
Seddigh had to get special permission from a local ayatollah in order to compete against men. Permission was granted since driving is not deemed a contact sport, and on the condition that Seddigh would confirm to dress-codes. At 28, Laleh Seddigh was known for her stunning looks and legendary driving skills. A PhD student from Tehran, she has been nicknamed "a little Schumacher" after the German Formula One champion. She has been given the title of Iran's best female racing driver. The story is featured in a BBC TV documentary called "Girl Racer". some of her career achievements are:
Rally - Started her career in 2000 - Women Champion 2003, 2004 - Captain of Proton Rally team - Completed 28 Rallies - 7 Podiums, 3 First place
Races - Started car racing in 2004 - Completed 5 races (Peugeot 206, 1600 cc & Proton 1500 cc) - 7 Podium finishes, five 1st Places - National Champion Peugeot 206 - 1600cc
During the penultimate race of the 2006 season, the stadium announcer called out Seddigh's name, ordering her to appear at the starting line, but guards refused to allow her through the gate, citing orders from above. She was later told that the head of the racing association had decided that she would never be allowed to race again.
He was afraid of the new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative extremist. "They wanted to prevent me from capturing the championship again," says Seddigh.
Originally posted by babloyi
Hahahhaha...awesome story, but I'm not sure you'd want to use it as an example of "state sponsored gender segregation" in Iran, because such a thing happens nowhere else in the world. No other country (or racing circuit/rally) in the world allows women to compete against men.