Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Saudi Arabia says women athletes can compete in London Olympics

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 25 June 2012
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Saudi Arabia says women athletes can compete in London Olympics, 25 June 2012, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

June 25, 2012

Saudi Arabia has announced that for the first time, women athletes from the kingdom will be permitted to participate in the Olympics.

The Saudi Embassy in London made the announcement with the opening of the Olympics in the British capital due in about one month, on July 27.

Reports say equestrian competitor Dalma Malhas is likely to be the only Saudi female athlete to qualify for the London Games.

The move comes after human rights groups called on the International Olympic Committee to bar Saudi Arabia from competing in London, citing the kingdom's failure to ever send a single woman to an Olympics.

The issue of women in sport remains sensitive in conservative Muslim Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive cars and face other restrictions on their activities.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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