Posted by Abdul Alim
Express Tribune: Human Rights Watch warned on Monday that despite a Saudi announcement which allows its women nationals to participate in the 2012 Olympics, millions of women are still banned from sports in the kingdom.
“It’s an important step forward, but fails to address the fundamental barriers to women playing sports in the kingdom,” the New York-based watchdog said in a statement.
“Millions of (Saudi) girls are banned from playing sports in schools, and women are prohibited from playing team sports and denied access to sports facilities, including gyms and swimming pools,” HRW added.
Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London issued a statement on Sunday announcing that women will be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games for the first time.
The Saudi Olympic Committee will “oversee participation of women athletes who can qualify,” the BBC quoted the statement as saying.
So far there has been no official confirmation of the report from Saudi Arabia, and none of the local newspapers reported the announcement on Monday.