HRW calls on IOC to take up Saudi discrimination against women in sports

The International Olympics Committee is due to hold its next meeting on May 23 in Qubec, ahead of London 2012 games.

Web Desk April 05, 2012

BEIRUT: There was no “female sports activity” in the past nor will there be any now, were the comments issued by the Saudi sports minister and head of the Saudi National Olympic Committee on April 4, as he shot down hopes of Saudi women athletes due to debut at the games in London. The Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged the IOC to put Saudi discrimination against women in sports on the agenda of its next executive board meeting in Quebec on May 23.

A statement published on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) website, quoted Prince Nawwaf al-Faisal said that Saudi Arabia will not support women in practicing sports.

“At present, we are not embracing any female Saudi participation in the Olympics or other international championships,” the HRW statement quoted Prince Nawwaf.

Chistoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at the Human Rights Watch said that Saudi Arabia had just given official confirmation to Saudi Arabia’s discrimination against women in sports. “If the International Olympic Committee was looking for an official affirmation of Saudi discrimination against women in sports, the minister in charge just gave it,” said Wilcke. “It is impossible to square Saudi discrimination against women with the noble values of the Olympic Charter.”

Human Rights Watch called on the IOC to take up Saudi discrimination against women in sport at its next executive board meeting in Quebec on May 23.

“The time is running out for hope that dialogue with Saudi authorities will lead to a change in discriminatory policies,” Wilcke said. “It is clear that a symbolic participation in the London 2012 games by Saudi women athletes does not mean an end to the systematic discrimination against women practicing sports in Saudi Arabia and in international competitions.”


Bilal | 10 years ago | Reply

What HRW has to do with all this ?This is dirty propaganda campaign to build pressure on a islamic country to dump their norms and culture.

This all women right's issue ultimately end up with anti Islam propaganda.

Big Rizvi | 10 years ago | Reply

Do they think women are some kinds of furniture that they are doing this? Women of Arabia! Please stand up for yourselves and demand equal rights from your oil-stinking, land-grabbing clergy of Arabia!

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