London 2012: Historic Olympic Games for Women

For the first time in history, all nations competing in the 2012 Olympic games will send at least one female athlete. This signifies a new era in the modern world of athletics and gender roles.

Take Saudi Arabia for example: after undergoing much pressure from The International Olympic Committee, they realized that there needs to be social reform. King Abdullah has been working on reform for women and wants to see them in more active roles. For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia will be sending a female athlete to the Olympics! This has been controversial in the Saudi Arabian society as many Saudis hold highly conservative values. Women participating in sports is not widely accepted because there is fear of it leading to sinning and stepping up their status in their community.

King Abdullah and other members of the Saudi Arabian government see the public as having to accept the changes that will inevitably come. Read more here.

Brunei and Qatar are also sending female athletes to the Olympics for the first time. With pressure and changes in cultural norms, even ultraconservative nations are being forced to revisit their attitudes on womens’ roles in their communities. Each step brings us closer to gender equality.

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