03 March 2015

Saudi Arabia: Education Minister says No to sports for girls

No sporting activities for girls in public schools in Saudi Arabia. Azzam Al-Dakhil, Saudi Education Minister disappointed both country and world expectations, who were awaiting an announcement to the contrary.

On the sidelines of a meeting with his Welfare Minister colleague, Al-Dakhil responded "no" to reporters asking if he would introduce an hour of gymnastics in women's institutions.

In theory, the prohibition that fully banned sports from Saudi girls' schools was eliminated in 2013. In May of that year, the Saudi government declared via its official news agency that girls registered at private institutions could take part in gymnastics classes, provided they wore clothes "compliant to decency" and were supervised by a female instructor in accordance to the strict laws governing education in the kingdom.

The announcement was welcomed as a step forward, but activists and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, refuted it as insufficient. [ANSAmed] Read more