Physical education for girls to be introduced in Saudi Arabia

Physical education for girls to be introduced in Saudi Arabia

Girls will be able to take part in physical education

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Public schools in Saudi Arabia are to introduce physical eduction for girls in the next academic year, the education ministry has said.

The idea of physical education for girls in the country is controversial as some consider it to be immodest, according to The Express Tribune.

The move has been hailed as historic by Lina Almaeena, who is a member of the advisory Shura Council. She also founded Saudi Arabia's first female basketball club.

The Shura Council had originally approved the idea of girls taking part in physical education in 2014, but it had not been implemented due to fears about clerics describing it as "Westernisation."

Islamic law and tribal custom is strict in Saudi Arabia, as women must have male guardians and wear modest clothes and aren't allowed to drive.

Almaeena has said trainers are now being given instruction themselves to teach the girls.

Princess Reema bint Bandar has been appointed by the Saudi government to lead a section of the General Sports Authority for women. Earlier this year the council also licensed women's gyms.

In order to back up their argument for women to take part in physical activity, authorities have said it will benefit women's health, as the country has a high obesity rate.

The Vision 2030 reform plan claims just 13% of the popultion excersies once a week. The aim of the plan is to increase this to 40%.