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Middle East and North Africa

Saudis allow sports for some schoolgirls


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s official news agency says private girls’ schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in the kingdom, “according to the rules of Shariah.”

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Shariah, or Islamic law. It still prohibits sports lessons in government-run girls’ schools, and female sports clubs are banned.

The agency said Saturday that the Education Ministry ordered private girls’ schools to provide appropriate places and equipment for sports. Students must adhere to “decent dress” codes, and female Saudi teachers should be given priority in supervising.

The ministry said that some private girls’ schools had been holding sports activities without rules protecting the interests of the students and their health.

Two Saudi women competed for the first time in last year’s Olympics wearing a modified veil agreed upon by Olympic officials.


Source: The New York Times

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