Counterpoint: “Saudi women going to Games is a sham” @SAISHopkins #olympics #hwhtw

August 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm 1 comment

Much has been made (including by HWHTW – see: News: “Saudi Arabia To Send Olympic Women Athletes For First Time”) of the gender  milestones reached with the 2012 Olympics: more women athletes than men, and  female participants from every participating country, including Saudi Arabia.  Jocelyne Cesari, a professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, argues that the presence of female Saudi athletes at the Olympics does not signify a big step forward for Saudi women:

“But if [judo competitor Wojdan] Shaherkani had withdrawn, it would not have been a setback for Saudi women because her inclusion was not a sign of advancement. The presence of Saudi women is the result of several months of pressure by the International Olympics Committee on Saudi Arabia to include women competitors or face being banned from participation.

“The situation for female athletes in Saudi Arabia is bleak.

“Saudi women in general are denied the right to practice sports. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prevents girls from taking part in sports in government schools. Physical education is allowed only in private schools. Women are not allowed to play in official sports clubs or even watch matches in stadiums. Girls’ football, volleyball and basketball games in private schools and colleges are held secretly.”

Read the full article: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/01/opinion/cesari-saudi-women-sports/index.html

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Impower You  |  August 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I didn’t realize that they were pressured to let women play, but then again, that could be the seed that grows into women being treated equally.

    Reply

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