No Women Allowed


Being a female student who participated in three different sports in high school, I find it astounding that females are not allowed to participate in sports in the Middle East. Girls receive no physical education in state schools and many private schools rarely even offer it to them. So why are women banned from playing such a thrilling game? Why are they not allowed the same physical and psychological benefits as men?

Women are Denied Healthier Lifestyles

Obesity in the Middle East area has been increasing drastically. Women are now developing diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and heart disease. If women were allowed to play sports this would help keep the obesity rates a lot lower and women would have less of a risk for develop life-threatening diseases.

Practicing Sport is an Islamic Necessity

Allah actually engaged his followers to play sports, which is one of the best forms of exercise. The only requirement for a Muslim woman to practice sport is to cover all parts of her body that should not be exposed to others. Thus, women should be allowed to play.

Moral Corruption

Women sports are believed to lead to moral corruption. Many governments have shut down women’s gym and women health centers because of this. A woman is to preserve her dignity and honor by not playing sports or participating in any form exercise.

Saudi Arabia is one of three countries that have never sent a female to the Olympics. It is incredibly difficult for this country to recognize women’s rights. This issue has been very prominent and ongoing for years. They are just now “considering” ending the ban on sports in girls’ state schools. This idea is crazy to me. I believe that this ban should have ended a long time ago. Women should be able to express themselves and participating in sports would allow them to do that. It is hard to believe that this ban has gone on for so long. Women have been able to participate in sports in the United States for a while now and it’s interesting to see that some countries still haven’t gotten past gender discrimination. It is really off putting to know that women are not getting the same right as us and they deserve to have those rights. Why is this ban still an issue today? Will the Middle East be able to overcome it?

Sources: Human Rights Watch, Aljazeera

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2 thoughts on “No Women Allowed

  1. Your blog really surprised me because I had no idea that women were being excluded from something so simple as sports, but then again there also not allowed to drive. It is so disappointing to hear how women in the Middle East are so constricted with these sexist laws and rules. I understand many of these customs come from there religion, but a lot of these restrictions just are unfair. I’m a supporter of any women that choose to embrace their culture and religion, in ways such as wearing a veil or abayas, but they are more than capable of doing things such as sports or driving in them if they strongly feel the need to stick to there customs. The Middle East definitely has a long way to come to reach a women rights movement, but a select few women do actively try to reach for those rights and hopefully more will continue to join.

  2. Until your blog I hadn’t thought of whether or not women have the same opportunities to participate in sports in the Middle East as they do in the U.S. It saddens me to think that women in this region are restricted from leisurely activities that are available to men. While it is difficult to imagine women participating in physical activities in their Hijab and Abayas, I know it is possible. I have seen multiple women at Ping, or University’s gym, wearing Hijabs, staying fully covered and participating in physical activity. Because of the large Women’s Rights movements going on in the Middle East, I think it will be possible to overcome this.

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