Women Barred From Olympics
Saudi Policy Violates Olympic Charter
In Saudi Arabia, state-run schools offer no physical education for girls, and only men may belong to sports clubs or work with expert trainers. In fact, government restrictions on women essentially bar them from sports, a new report says.
As with all the past Olympic Games, Saudi Arabia plans that only male athletes will be part of its delegation to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
But denying women the chance to compete contrasts starkly with the human rights principles of the Olympic Charter, which states: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit.”
In response to comments by the International Olympic Committee, last year Saudi Arabia said it would not oppose participation by a Saudi woman in the London Olympics – but that it would not invite her as part of its official team.
But Saudi Arabia should go further. Human Rights Watch urges the International Olympic Committee to uphold the values of the Olympic Charter and condition Saudi Arabia’s participation in the London 2012 Olympics on the country taking steps to end discrimination against women in sports