Now here’s a huge surprise – Saudi Arabia isn’t “allowing” “its” women to participate in the Olympics. It has excellent reasons, of course.
Beans on toast are a powerful female aphrodisiac.
No, that’s not it. Rain makes Arab women go a funny greenish color.
No, Arab women are allergic to chips.
I’m being silly, I know this one – London streets are full of litter and coughed-up phlegm, so the women might slip and fall and get pregnant.
Wait. It’s high heels worn with jeans, that’s it – high heels worn with jeans are apostasy.
No actually it seems to be not about the UK at all, but about sports, and not to put too fine a point on it, any physical activity at all. Saudi women and girls are a kind of mushroom, raised in a dark corner of the basement.
Discrimination against women and girls in sports in Saudi Arabia – as in so many other areas of their lives – is entrenched in government policy, including:
· Beginning from childhood, the government bans millions of Saudi girls from participating in physical education classes in state schools.
· The kingdom discriminates against women by denying them access to sports facilities, including gyms and swimming pools.
· The government has shut down private gyms established by women in recent years on the pretext that they were unlicensed.
· There are no sports clubs for women, compared with 153 government-supported clubs for men.
· The Saudi National Olympic Committee has no women’s section and does not hold sports competitions for women to allow them to qualify for national teams and international competitions.
See? Nothing. And it’s not as if they can go out running, is it. Fancy running in an abaya?