Iran Gender Wars Hit High Gear

Female duo driving home inequalities of Islamic republic
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2008 5:15 PM CST
Race car driver Laleh Seddigh is among a new generation of Iranian women pushing the limits placed on them by the country's religious regime.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Iranian women can't travel without a man's permission, but two female racecar drivers are taking matters into their own hands and fighting for equal opportunity on the track. Nervous officials have repeatedly banned Zoreh Vatankhah and her mentor, Laleh Seddigh, from races—and their successes don't often make the front page. But they're not giving up, Der Spiegel reports.

The women wear headscarves during races, so they aren't technically disobeying Islamic law. But Iranian authorities don't look kindly on university-educated women who live life in the fast lane, drive Mercedes through Tehran, and enroll in competitions from Dubai to California. "They should stick to washing machines," one (male) observer said from the sidelines.