The work Muslim women have been doing to get the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to turn around a rule banning headgear has finally paid off.
The organization announced Thursday, that effective October 1, 2017, female basketball players will now be able to wear headgear including hijabs.
Indira Kaljo, the woman who started the petition that helped change the rule, told BuzzFeed, “It is wonderful that since 2014, when we first got 70,000 votes and now with this movement that I started with so many other hijabi players that I have met over the last two years has reached over 130,000 signatures.”
Adding, “People are sharing our stories and… FIBA making a final decision to approve the hijab shows that we [have] taken a positive step to inclusivity of all, and I am honored and humbled.”
Pressure for FIBA to change the rule had been growing over the years with the World Players Association and Basketball Federation in India voicing their concern, specifically, after Sikh players were forced to play without their turbans at the Asia Cup Basketball Championship in China.
Kaljo added, “This decision means everything to me. When I started the first change.org petition in the summer of 2014 when I first started wearing hijab, I had to make a decision between my faith and the sport I love. [A] feeling no single person should ever have to feel.”