A Giant Leap for Womankind?

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, there are female athletes in attendance from every competing nation. This milestone took 112 years to come to fruition, as the first females were permitted to compete in the Olympics back in 1900. At long last, women from the nations of Qatar, Brunei, and Saudi Arabia are participating in the games.

This decision is the most controversial in Saudi Arabia, where women are not permitted to practice sports in schools or fitness clubs, or to even watch sports in stadiums. Saudi authorities lifted restrictions on women competing in the Olympics just last month, after the International Olympic Committee threatened the country with a ban.

Minky Worden, Director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch views the participation of two Saudi female athletes as the first step, “But the race for gender equality in Saudi Arabia cannot be won until the millions of women and girls who are now deprived of athletic opportunities can also exercise their right to practice sports.”

Learn more about the Human Rights Watch campaign for gender equality in sports.

Julia Krieger

Project Specialist

Campaign Consultation, Inc.

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Julia Krieger

I have extensive experience coordinating communications and outreach initiatives focused on health and social issues. In my current position as Project Specialist, I provide communications technical assistance to regional and federal efforts within the National Partnership for Action initiative, with support from the Office of Minority Health. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer who worked on health and social affairs projects in the Federated States of Micronesia. Read more.

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