To become a professional boxer, she had to flee her country to join France.

She wants to practice her sport and it was France that opened the door for her.

To become a professional boxer, she had to flee her country to join France.

She wants to practice her sport and it was France that opened the door for her.

In some countries around the world, being a woman is far from being an obvious thing. In many states, women are considered equal to men, even if there is still significant discrimination such as salary differences and scandals, like the movement

In a number of countries, women do not even have access to full citizenship status and are excluded from many parts of society. This is particularly the case in the world of sport, where women are not welcome in disciplines such as combat sports, which are poorly perceived by public opinion or the political regimes in place.

In a country like Iran, women are prohibited from participating in competitions in gymnastics, wrestling, swimming or even beach volleyball. The Islamic Republic also does not allow women to practice boxing, for example. A collective has also called for the exclusion of Iran from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to denounce this regressive situation.

In order to practice this sport which can be a true vocation, some fighters have decided to flee their country. This is the case of Sadaf Khadem, who left her country to join France and the boxing club in Royan where she can freely exercise her passion and even her profession. The 29-year-old boxer was introduced to the noble art in Tehran, practicing shadow-boxing in parks or very discreetly in boxing rings. Knowing that she could hardly progress in the local rings, a fight was set up in Royan in 2019, thanks to contacts in the Iranian diaspora in France

Franck Weus, former boxer and president of the club, invested a lot and decided to help the young woman by organizing this fight. He even managed to raise funds to allow Sadaf Khadem to come to France. “I immediately accepted this job because there is boxing and sport of course, but also the human factor to take into account. An Iranian woman who wants to box but who is not allowed to do so at home. We all know the obstacles they encounter and especially now with hundreds of deaths simply because they want to remove their veil,” he explained recently in comments relayed by BBC Africa.

Sadaf Khadem ultimately won her fight at the time and while she wanted to return home, she learned that she risked being arrested upon arrival for boxing and playing sports without wearing the veil or hijab. So she turned around and has stayed in France ever since. “My life and my home are now in France,” she explained.

Because of her delicate situation and her goal of becoming professional despite the obstacles, the young boxer gives very little news to her family. She meets her father and sisters once a year in Türkiye or Dubai. A real ordeal especially after losing his mother, who died of Covid in Iran, without being able to go see her.

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