‘Ensuring equality’: International Boxing Association allows female boxers to compete in hijabs

‘Ensuring equality’: International Boxing Association allows female boxers to compete in hijabs
International Boxing Association (AIBA) has updated its uniform guidelines allowing female competitors to wear hijabs in international events “should they want to due to religious reasons.”

The amendments to the dress code also included national colors which now can be displayed on the athletes uniform.

Additionally, a positive update has been made to the uniforms, which now allows for sports hijab’s to be used by female boxers should they want due to religious reasons and for uniforms to include colors of countries,” AIBA said in a statement.

All updates and approvals are in line with AIBA’s commitment to ensure equality and fair-play within the sport of boxing – the full list of updates will be provided to all National Federations in the coming weeks.”

The so-called hijab issue had remained a stumbling block in boxing for quite a long time with Muslim competitors complaining about the rule which prohibited wearing hijabs in the ring.

The restriction on performing in traditional Muslim headscarf often caused a stir in many sports, including judo where women are still not allowed to compete wearing a hijab.

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Last October, Indonesian judoka Miftahul Jannah was banned from the Asian Para Games after refusing to remove her hijab. The controversial episode inflamed a public uproar with many fans accusing judo officials of discrimination.

At the 2016 Rio Games, US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing at the Olympics. Together with her teammates, she grabbed gold in the team saber event, finishing behind Russia and Ukraine.