Welcome to the Olympics

Saudi Arabian Women are Finally Able to Compete

by Aja Jabang, age 10

    For centuries women from Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar have watched their husbands, brothers and fathers compete in the Olympics. Finally, in the 2012 Olympic Games, these women got their own chance to compete, entering different events including, hurdling, swimming, track and shooting.
    Two female athletes from Saudi Arabia competed in this year’s Olympic Games. The decision of the Saudi government to allow their participation is the result of months of negotiations between the Saudi Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee.
    Human rights activists and athletic groups think women competing in the Olympics will lead them to a good future. But other people don’t agree with letting women compete, especially the traditional Islamic society. One of their reasons is the clothing. They think the shorts and the sports bras show too much of their body. In the Islamic tradition, women are usually only allowed to show their feet and hands.
    Many say that when the female participants go home they will face trouble.
Some female athletic groups even have to play in secret. Most women resent this.
    Although some people still don’t agree, women may now shine along side the men from their countries and earn medals of their own.

[Sources: Time for Kids; Wall Street Journal]