Saudi to lift ban on girls playing sport

The influential Shura Council has recommended allowing public school girls to exercise as long as it is in private, female only instructors
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 09 Apr 2014 12:30 PM

The Saudi Shura Council has recommended lifting a ban on public school girls participating in physical education.

Under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic legal system, powerful clerics have issued religious rulings against female participation in sport as one of a series of restrictions but the controversial ban has been reconsidered in recent years.

There also have been some signs that sportswomen may be allowed to compete internationally.

According to local media, the Shura Council, a religious body that recommends legislation to the government, has approved sports lessons for girls according to Islamic principles and traditions, which is expected to include that the lessons be in private and with only female instructors.

Private schools have had some leniency in allowing girls to exercise since last year.

Supporters have praised the move to help reduce obesity, which is rising at a significant rate in the kingdom.

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