BBC TwoThis World


Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 12:43 GMT
Girl Racer

Laleh Seddigh
Girl Racer
19 February 2008
1900 GMT on BBC Two
This World tells the improbable story of a female Iranian racing car champion and examines the complex reality of women's lives in Iran.

We follow the fortunes of Laleh Seddigh, a stunning Angelina Jolie lookalike who has become Iran's national motor-sports champion.

Laleh found that as long as she respected Islamic dress codes, she could race directly against male drivers.

What the Islamist regime had not counted on, was that she might actually beat them.

Laleh has now become a role model for thousands of Iranian women.

Complex and contradictory

Today, 65% of Iran's university students are females, and they make up 30% of the workforce. There are women doctors, lawyers, engineers and MPs - even racing champions.

But for all their education and ambition, Iranian women must respect Islamic laws and dress codes or face fines or arrest.

They are worth "half as much as a man" in courts of law and face execution for "moral" crimes like adultery.

This World examines the complex and contradictory reality of women's lives in today's Iran.

It travels from the slums of Nasir Abad where Elham Galevand explains how village gossips are enough to ruin a woman's reputation, to the slick Apple-Mac'd offices of Tehran Advertising Agencies where ambitious female graduates like Maryam remember encounters with Tehran's infamous "Moral Police".

And as Laleh finds out, even when women do succeed, it often comes at a cost.

Produced/Directed: Darius Bazargan
Executive Producer: Louise Norman

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