Iranian Women Fight Back, Parkour-Style

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Until recently, I had never heard of parkour (gymnastics+martial arts). I inadvertently heard the term while watching an episode of New Girl when one of the characters shouted out, "Parkour!" as he tried to scale the wall of his apartment. While I let the term slip by then, it means more to me now, after reading how parkour has made an impact for women in Iran

For Iranian women, parkour is not just a sport, but a life-saving strategy that enables women to develop strength and flexibility through running and rappelling off walls. Not surprisingly, Parkour is popular with men, but it has also attracted women. Even less surprising to me is that men are lauded for excelling in this sport, while the women who practice this are subjected to ridicule or apathy instead. It's not uncommon that women are still being treated as less than equal around the world, and it's a shame that women have to fight their way to survive.

Iranian women face restrictions on a daily basis. Whether it's how they dress or conduct themselves in public, these restrictions have become a part of their existence, but it is changing. Parkour has allowed some of them to express their frustrations toward their government and how they are treated. Women have been using this sport to release pent-up energy that has restricted their movements in most everything they do.

It's amazing to see how far women will go to ensure that they are treated as equals. For Iranian women, the battle for equality may be slow, but with the tenacity shown by those who practice Parkour, it's a challenge they're willing to fight for. That's my view on this -- what's yours?

To read the article I read about these women, click below:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2013/jun/10/parkour-iranian-women-get-physical

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