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Saudi Arabia to Offer Physical Education Classes for Girls

July 13, 2017

Saudi Arabia to Offer Physical Education Classes for Girls

 

Recently, the Saudi education ministry announced that public schools will offer physical education for girls with this coming academic year. This remarkable change is shocking at the same time as Saudi Arabia has been one of the world's most restrictive environments for women. Women in Saudi Arabia are required to cover their hair and bodies in public. This kind of restriction is applied for medical treatments as women cannot make their own decision - they have to get permission from a male guardian. Thus, this announcement has been a shock to the nation and other countries. Women's sports were opposed for various reasons. (1) Getting used to wearing sportswear would make women lose modesty. (2) Sports are against the supposed womanliness. (3) Women who play sports would become muscular and masculine. With these concerns, women's sports will have to be developed carefully, making sure women's femininity. Given that girls' schools opened only about fifty years ago and schools are still segregated by gender, this change is radical. Also, it will take some time as girls' schools do not generally have sports facilities. However, it is undeniable that this change will spur more equality in one of the most restrictive kingdom for women.

 

APPA UN NGO intern

Cornell University Information Science major

Jungwon Shin

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-girls-islam-physical-education.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld

 

 

 

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