Gender and Politics in the media

Saudi conservatives unmoved by country’s first female Olympian

 Newser A young Saudi judo fighter’s decisive defeat on the mat Friday is being hailed as a victory for women in the conservative Gulf kingdom, a step that would have seemed unimaginable if thousands of fans at the sprawling ExCel Center and millions at home RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Winning was never the point. No one expected Wojdan Shaherkani, 16, the first female Saudi Olympian to compete, to pin her opponent.

 Herald Sun The country’s ultra-conservative clergy tried to destroy her ambitions to be Saudi’s first female Olympian, before an argument about the type of headscarf she should wear jeopardised her place at the 11th hour. “The IOC has long fought for gender equality at the Olympic Games and sport in general and to now have female Olympians representing every National Olympic Committee is an encouraging evolution,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said in a statement.

 Reuters There’s plenty of evidence to show the gender gap exists, and has done ever since women have competed alongside men in international sporting events. Yet the gap has been narrowing over the decades – so will women one day catch the men? They’ll get close, says John Brewer, a professor of sports science at Britain’s University of Bedfordshire – but only in some events.

 The Guardian (blog) A 16-year-old girl who has never before competed in an international competition has struck a blow for gender equality, becoming the first woman ever to compete for Saudi Arabia at the Olympic Games.

Leave a Reply