Surprise: Saudis Ban Women From Olympic Team

Posted by on Feb 27, 2012 at 8:36 am

The Afghans were banned from the 2000 Olympics for not allowing women to compete, so let’s do the same here.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of breaking the spirit of the Olympics by refusing to bring a female team to compete in the London games.

Organisers are now urging the deeply conservative nation, currently the world’s top oil exporter, to review their attitude towards women and sport.

Former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who sits on the Olympic board, said the Saudis were breaking the Olympic Charter’s pledge  to equality.

I take umbrage with the constant references to the Saudis as deeply conservative. It has an entirely different meaning that what a conservative really is. These people live in the stone age.

In 2009 the Saudi government closed gyms for women and strict laws dictating how they should dress and behave make it extremely difficult for them to partake in physical activity.

A few years ago a marathon event was held in which women could only participate if they wore the abaya – a black cloak which covers the body head to toe.

Opponents claim allowing women to partake in sports is a slippery slope which will lead to them dressing provocatively, spending an unnecessary amount of time outside the house and mingling with men outside of their families.

Women are also banned from driving which makes it particularly difficult for them to attend sporting events.

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