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Saudi Arabia to let women compete in Olympics for first time

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(CNN) — Saudi Arabia will let its female athletes compete in the Olympics for the first time, its embassy in London said.

Until now, Saudi Arabia was one of three countries that did not allow women to participate in the games.

The other two — Qatar and Brunei — also reversed course this year and said they will send athletes to the London games that begin July 27.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishes to reaffirm its support for the sublime meanings reflected by Olympic Games and the cherished values of excellence, friendship and respect that they represent,” the Saudi embassy in London said in a statement, announcing its decision.

The International Olympic Committee had been pressing Saudi Arabia to allow women to compete and act as officials, and said in March that talks were going well.

“IOC is confident that Saudi Arabia is working to include women athletes and officials at the Olympic Games in London in accordance with the International Federations’ rules,” the committee said March 19.

The decision is a rare concession for a kingdom where women are banned from driving.

They also cannot vote or hold public office, though that will change in 2015. Read more.

Posted by on June 25, 2012. Filed under Women,Women Rights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Responses to Saudi Arabia to let women compete in Olympics for first time

  1. Zubair Khan

    June 25, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Shall watch with interest specially how they dress up and perform in mixed gathering. You can not exclude women for ever from such social and healthy activites. Thanks to some broad mindness of Monarch.

  2. Zia H. Shah

    June 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Incidentally, for most of the limitations that the Saudi government had imposed on women, you will find no support in the Holy Quran.

  3. Hala

    July 30, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    actually women con hold public offices in saudi
    and for voting there is no voting consipt not for
    Women nore men .
    Women in the Olymbic team are our sisters
    And proud of them , and if they win we will be
    Prouder

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