London 2012: don’t forget that most Saudi women are banned from sport

On Thursday it was announced that Saudi women will after all be participating in the 2012 Olympics. An American with Saudi origins, Sarah Attar, will be in the 800m race while Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani will compete in judo above 78kg. These two are not finalists, or the best of the best of Saudi sportswomen, because according to the Saudi government, femininity and sports are incompatible. Read on here.

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14 responses to “London 2012: don’t forget that most Saudi women are banned from sport

  1. Reader of herstory

    I like your blog very much. It is interesting.

    I keep hearing conflicting stories about Saudi Ladies participating in the 2012 Olympics. I detest any lousy, weak, feeble IOC body that let’s Saudi Arabia enter at all if it is banning lady athletes. South Africa was banned in apartheid and so should Saudi Arabia be for gender apartheid.

    I really hope equality, fairness and rightness wins over misogyny, oppression and gender hate and that Saudi Arabian female athletes compete alongside Great Britain’s female athletes.

    I hope SA women do better in the games than SA males so it might make the misogynistic powers that be in SA reconsider their oppression of noble women.

    Women and men are equal, their opportunities, liberties and rights ought to be too. Anything else is backwards.

    Now for a bit of Team GB support…. “Go Jessica Ennis!!” “You can do it Rebacca Addlington!!” “Go Tom Daly!”. :-)

  2. Dana Islam

    Yes we don’t forget the reality of Saudi women, but I believe it’s good step forward and for the beginning it’s better than nothing!

  3. frances

    I house three Saudi Arabian male students in my Austin, Texas home. Every day I read and then report to them the news on whether or not Saudi Arabian women will be allowed into the Olympics. Well, at the ages of 24, 20, and 19 all three have responded with the same following questions:
    1) What are the Olympics?
    2) Why should Saudi Arabian women participate (They certainly would have no interest.)
    3) Why is it of interest to the world?

    These are very nice young men, but they have no concept of what equality would look like for women. I have house 13 students over several years and none have any interest about Saudi women doing anything except cooking, telling the servants what to do, and having children. My daily conversations with them can be very disappointing, but I will continue to direct them to a different way of thinking.

  4. The Saudi destructive socialization process is at the heart of the country’s social, political and scientific backwardness and Saudi attitude toward each other and the international community, especially toward non-Muslims.

    Prior to the Saudi/Wahhabi taking over, most Saudi women did not cover their faces or hair in some parts of the country. They work as farmers, shepherds and family providers.

    Religion has been used as a tool of segregation, deprivation, exploitation, subjugation and divide and conquer. Saudi men have no rights, that’s why they have no concept of how it feels to be marginalized.

    Read http://www.cdhr.info for commentaries and analysis of the real reasons behind the gender apartheid system in Saudi Arabia.

    Ask your house gusts this: Why is Saudi Arabia importing 10 million expatriate laborers while 10 million able and educated Saudi women and young men are jobless? Is it Islam, is it tradition, is it politics or what? Post their answers and I shall respond and am sure others too.

    PS: Most Saudi students are the least to benefit form being in American and other democratic universities and societies. They are given specific instructions before they leave their land. They are also selected very carefully and most of them are on the regimes expense–part of the handout program.

  5. countrygirl

    I’m wondering why the so called saudi olimpic comitee didn’t chose the young saudi woman who won a medal in equistrian competion (i think i’ve read about her in this blog but i’m not sure).
    A country will never truly develop if 50% of its own population are held back, are treated a second rate citizen.
    Tell me if i wrong but there are some BUT in the saudi women partecipating in the Olympic games one is that they CAN’T mingle with other men! come on people we are living in the 21st century

  6. Although I. sympathize with the Fundamentalist Muslim male on many Social, Cultural, and Political, points; I. have to express differences with regards to the Ideal of Nationalism and Sport ! Growing up as an American Born kid watching the Olympic Games, I. remember the awe of Communist Greats, Team USSR, Vasily Alekseev, Teofilo Stevenson, etc. etc. What better Pride, of God and Country, can there be, than of excellence, in International Competition of Sport ! We can argue the relevance of Saudi Woman`s role in Muslim Culture, Intellect, and Politics, but Athletic Excellence could prove as valuable as Oil to the Global Image of Arab Culture; The Idea of flowing Turbans and Shouts of Allahu Akbar crossing the Finish Line is simply amazing ?

  7. Pingback: Saudi Arabia: Kingdom’s First Female Olympic Athletes Called ‘Prostitutes’ · Global Voices

  8. Reblogged this on Saffaa : Visual Artist and commented:
    “don’t forget that most Saudi women are banned from sport”

  9. Pingback: اولین زن المپیکی پادشاهی عربستان سعودی فاحشه خوانده شد · Global Voices به فارسی

  10. Mahmoud Al-Haqq

    حتى أحمق يحاول أن يتمسك الرمل في قبضته، وبالتالي فإن رجال الدين قبضة حياة النساء في الشرق الأوسط.
    عندما الرمل بما فيه الكفاية للهروب من قبضة اليد من القمع، فإن رياح التغيير السوط الذي تحول الى عاصفة رملية من تمزيق بيوت الظالمين أسفل حجرا بعد حجر.

  11. Pingback: اولین زن المپیکی پادشاهی عربستان سعودی فاحشه خوانده شد « ایران فردا

  12. Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was searching for

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