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Saudi 'may let girls play school sport'

Riyadh, April 3, 2012

Saudi Arabia is considering letting girls play sport at school, a senior education official was quoted as saying, in what would represent a relaxation of rules.

Noura Al-Fayez, the deputy education minister for female student affairs, was quoted in a letter addressed to activist group Human Rights Watch as saying that the government was working to change things.

Her letter said the ministry was working to set up a "comprehensive physical education programme", including sports facilities and a health and nutrition awareness scheme "as part of its national strategy for physical education for boys and girls", the daily Al-Watan newspaper reported.

Human Rights Watch received a similar letter from Fayez in January, which said physical education for girls was under consideration "as one of the priorities of the ministry's leadership".

A month later the New York-based rights group criticised Saudi Arabia for never having sent a female athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. Last month, however, the International Olympic Committee said the kingdom had submitted a list of female athletes it wanted to send to this year's London Games.

Some private girls schools already run sports programmes for their pupils, but state-run schools do not while female gyms must adhere to strict regulations that fall under the Health Ministry. - Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | | School | Sport |

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