Saudi Arabia Allows Women To Compete in London Olympics

Saudi Arabia is to allow its women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time.

The public participation of women in sport is still fiercely opposed by many Saudi religious conservatives. There is almost no public tradition of women participating in sport in the country.

Saudi officials say that with the Games now just a few weeks away, the only female competitor at Olympic standard is showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas. But they added that there may be scope for others to compete and that if successful they would be dressed “to preserve their dignity”. In practice this is likely to mean modest, loose-fitting garments and “a sports hijab”, a scarf covering the hair but not the face.


For the desert kingdom, the decision to allow women to compete in the Olympics is a huge step, overturning deep-rooted opposition from those opposed to any public role for women. As recently as April, the indications were that Saudi Arabia’s rulers would accede to the sensitivities of the religious conservatives and maintain the ban on allowing women to take part. But for the past six weeks there have been intense, behind-the-scenes discussions led by King Abdullah, who has long been pushing for women to play a more active role in Saudi society.

It is not the first time a Saudi monarch has backed a controversial reform against domestic opposition. King Faisal, who introduced television in the 1960s and was eventually assassinated, insisted on introducing education for girls. Today, Saudi women graduates outnumber their male counterparts.

Do you think letting Saudi women participate in the Olympics is a good decision? What other aspects do you think need more reform regarding women’s rights in Saudi?

Source: BBC News

Image: The News Tribe

Study: Women Drive Romance

A study of mobile phone calls suggests that women call their spouse more than any other person.

The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. It also shows that men call their spouse most often for the first seven years of their relationship. They then shift their focus to other friends. According to the study’s co-author, Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, UK, the investigation shows that pair-bonding is much more important to women than men.

“It’s the first really strong evidence that romantic relationships are driven by women,” he told BBC News. ”It’s they who make the decision and once they have made their mind up, they just go for the poor bloke until he keels over and gives in!”


Prof Dunbar also claims that the findings suggest that human societies are moving away from a patriarchy back to a matriarchy. This kind of anthropological study is normally very difficult to do because it is hard for researchers to get such a big picture of people’s lives. But by looking at an at an extremely large mobile phone database, they were able to track these changes extremely accurately.

The researchers say that a woman’s social world is intensely focussed on one individual and will shift as a result of reproductive interests from being the mate to children and grandchildren. According to Prof Dunbar, the data suggests that “at root the important relationships are those between women and not those between men”.

“Men’s relationships are too casual. They often function at a high level in a political sense, of course; but at the end of the day, the structure of society is driven by women, which is exactly what we see in primates,” he explains.

Do you agree that women rather than men create more drive and stability in a relationship? Share with us your views and experiences!

Source: BBC News

Image: The Times of India