Not since 1979, when leading American feminist Kate Millett joined thousands of women in protest of Iran’s revolutionary officials’ plan to reinstitute mandatory veiling, have Iranian women had a global advocate. That changed this September, when Georgian-American chess champion Nazi Paikidze announced she would not don the hijab to attend the 2017 World Chess Tournament in Tehran. She refused to attend the games on the basis of “sex discrimination” and has since been joined by several other players.
In the 37 years stretching between Millett and Paikidze, the cause of human rights in Iran mostly languished in anonymity. The world turned its back on Iran, yes, but the cause was also buried by design from within.
Politico, October 30, 2016 https://www.politico.eu/article/women-right-to-boycott-iran-world-chess-tournament-tehran-2017/