Iran, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said women are highly respected, has barred women from watching public live screenings of Euro 2012 games because men might become rowdy.
"It is an inappropriate situation when men and women watch football in (movie) theatres together," said Bahman Kargar, Iran's deputy police commander in charge of social affairs, according to the Iran Student News Agency.
He explained that the "inappropriate" environment could cause men to become rowdy because "men, while watching football, get excited and sometimes utter vulgar curses or tell dirty jokes.” He added, "It is not within the dignity of women to watch football with men” and said “women should thank the police" for the ban.
Iran state television is airing the Euro games being held in Poland and Ukraine, and the games also are being shown in movie theatres.
Women are strictly segregated in Iran’s Islamic society, and the country’s laws demands that women dress according to the religious code.
Iran has a seat on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad previously has argued that Iranian women are "highly respected" while claiming that 70 percent of European women are physically abused.
A senior Iranian cleric has declared women whose clothes are too revealing are to blame for earthquakes, which are common in the country.