Women Playing Soccer in Saudi Arabia, why did this take so long?


I recently read an article in which they highlighted that Saudi Women are now allowed to play sports in private schools. I know that this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as we have seen from the presentations in class, women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is a slow and drawn out affair.  It ahs been trying to make ground for over 50 years. I believe that this new addition to the equality of Saudi women will help bring about more positive change in the government.  This improvement is a part of a series of advances that will bring the civil rights in the country to a new level. Another instance that has had a similar level of national viewership was the admission of women into the countries Shura Council, or a type of legislator. This is more of a symbolic position as anything because it the council doesn’t hold any real power.

            At the same time, it’s scary that at this point in our history as a species, the idea of girls being allowed to play team sports is considered a step forward. It not only was deemed news worthy, but also was a featured news story on the Guardian. At the same time, its clear that this is a step forward from two steps back. Only three years ago, many “women’s gyms were closed in 2010 on grounds they were unlicensed.” Basically saying that they were closed due to the fact that women were not allowed to dress in anything that goes against sharia law.

            This is more of a religious issue than a political issue as many of the edicts come from prominent clerics that demand the strict adherence to sharia law. Recently, a 52 page report was done by the Human Rights Watch last year, in It they reportedly said “Although religious views opposing prohibition on women’s participation in sport are less frequently pronounced than those in favour, government policy is only inching toward realising women’s right to sport rather than taking bold steps to realise it,” This idea follows the rule of the old over the rule of the young. I believe that in the next twenty years, the rules and stipulations holding back the women of Saudi Arabia will be torn aside and you will see a greater equality of the sexes.



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