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Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:58 PM

 

Saudi women at Olympic Games a sham.

By Jocelyne Cesari
CNN
August 1, 2012

For the first time, Saudi Arabia sent two women to the Olympics -- Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar, who will compete in judo and track and field. But their participation is far from a groundbreaking step for Saudi women.

It was touch and go whether one of the Saudi women, Shaherkani, would even participate this year when the president of the International Federation of Judo said women wearing headscarves would not be allowed to compete for fear of choking and injury. The issue has been resolved and she will participate in a form of headgear that complies with Saudi's strict Islamic dress codes for women.

But if Shaherkani had withdrawn, it would not have been a setback for Saudi women because her inclusion was not a sign of advancement.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.

More: http://us.cnn.com/2012/08/01/opinion/cesari-saudi-women-sports/index.html

8 replies, 1237 views

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Saudi women at Olympic Games a sham. (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Aug 2012 OP
Gormy Cuss Aug 2012 #1
obamanut2012 Aug 2012 #2
stevenleser Aug 2012 #3
LadyHawkAZ Aug 2012 #4
La Lioness Priyanka Aug 2012 #5
UnrepentantLiberal Aug 2012 #6
DURHAM D Aug 2012 #7
obamanut2012 Aug 2012 #8

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 12:03 AM

1. But Saudi women have now participated

and with any luck it will be a chink in the misogynistic armor that is Saudi culture. I disagree with the author --Shaherkani withdrawing would have been a setback for Saudi women. Whether her participation and Attar's will make any difference remains to be seen but at least there is now a precedent for Saudi women participating.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 08:41 AM

2. This

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 01:51 PM

3. It could go either way.

I am annoyed at the sham of it. I think I would be equally angry at any country presenting a person of color, a different religion, etc. the same way. The women were hopelessly outclassed and clearly thrown in there to avoid the country being banned from international competition.

However, if it does result in a generalized trend towards a better climate towards women in Saudi Arabia, I will be happy about it, warts and all.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 10:26 PM

4. I don't have a lot of faith in their participation

leaving a scratch in the misogynist armor, never mind a chink. They scratched around for a couple of bones to throw to the IOC to protect their precious male teams, that's all. It wouldn't surprise me if, after this or the next Olympics, they simply pointed to the poor showings, claimed they had no Olympic-class athletes to send, and just played the God card if they do get sanctioned.

I'd dearly love to eat those words four or eight years from now. Go ahead, Saudis. Prove my cynicism wrong.

I'm glad for Shaherkani's sake, if nothing else, that she got to participate. Good for her and good for Attar!

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 03:09 PM

5. i disagree, for one it has forced Saudi Arabia to relent to international pressure on women's rights

it's not much of a victory but it is some

just because there is much further to go doesn't mean that nothing was achieved

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 05:02 PM

6. Good points.

 

We helped create the monster so we could have cheap gas.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 01:18 PM

7. The most important thing that happened at the Olympics

was just before the games began. A female from a predominately Muslim country was elected as a V-President of the IOC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nawal_El_Moutawakel

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/07/26/el-moutawakel-and-reedie-elected-ioc-vps957869/

I read that she is the person most responsible for the increased female participation this year (every country had a female in their delegation for the first time) and her election is the break-through that can really matter going forward.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 03:19 PM

8. I totally missed that

Thanks for posting it!

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