Saturday, November 13, 2010

Asian Games: Saudi Women Conspicuous by Absence

 Asian Games: Saudi Women Conspicuous by Absence
Laws forbidding unrelated women and men mixing together mean that Saudi female athletes will again be conspicuous by their absence from the Asian Games that start on Saturday. 

Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive cars, take major decisions without the permission of a male relative or even work as supermarket cashiers, are the sole National Olympic Committee not to register a female athlete for the Asiad which features 45 NOCs competing in 42 sports.
Ironically, the absence of a female in its 180-strong delegation comes despite the country this week securing an automatic seat on the board running the new UN super agency for women, UN Women -- from a group of donor countries for which there was no vote. 

Angry rights groups said they would now seek to put the spotlight on the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom where severe restrictions on women are supported by the country's conservative traditions together with its strict interpretation of Sunni Islam. 

The United States, European Union, Australia and Canada, however, successfully carried out an intensive diplomatic campaign to sway votes against Iran as an expression of disapproval of the country's rights record, its place at UN Women going to East Timor. 

Campaigners had highlighted Iran's treatment of women, including the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who was sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery. 

But Iran is certainly present at the Asian Games, fielding an impressive 92 females athletes in its 395-strong delegation, including 14 shooters, a kabbadi team and 24 dragon boat racers.

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Asian Games: Saudi Women Conspicuous by Absence"

Post a Comment