Saudi Arabian girls are now participating in sports at school.
In July 2017, the Ministry of Education issued a decree for the 2017-2018 academic year allowing girls to take part in physical education classes, a legislative shift that underscores the government’s ongoing modernization of the Kingdom’s societal structure. Indeed, allowing physical education for all students is “a historic decree for all schools, public and private,” said Lina Almaeena, a member of the Saudi Consultative Assembly Shura Council.
A Vision in Action
Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan has been the leading force behind the implementation of new laws regarding women and physical activity.
According to the economic and social development plan, Saudi Arabia aims to reduce its dependence on oil, diversify its economy and enhance cultural and entertainment life in the Kingdom for citizens. As such, the government has outlined a roadmap to get 40 percent of the country’s population to exercise at least once per week. Under this premise—and as part of the Kingdom’s move toward expanding opportunities for women—the government recently approved female gym licensees previously operated under salon licenses.
Activating Women across the Kingdom
Specific cities within the Kingdom have implemented their own plans to get women involved in athletic activities. Jeddah United, the first female basketball team in Saudi Arabia, is encouraging women to become more active in their public lives. Additionally, Riyadh will host its first-ever women’s squash tournament—a major move for both the nation’s female population and the Kingdom’s expanding sports sector.
Saudi Arabia’s social inroads cross into the Kingdom’s workforce. Across the nation, women have actively entered the retail sector, as well as head up major Saudi-based entities, including the Saudi stock exchange, the Dammam Airport and the Saudi Shura Council.
Saudi is actively broadening the space for women among the society’s ongoing development. With more women partaking in sports and assuming leadership positions in businesses, the Kingdom is moving closer toward establishing a more inclusive and diversified society.
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