Saudi Arabia Must Allow Girls to Play Sports in School

Target: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education

Goal: Extend permission to play sports to girls in public schools

Recently, Saudi Arabia announced that the ban on girls playing sports in schools would be lifted for girls in private schools. While this is an important step forward for women’s rights in the country, many feel that it is not enough. By only allowing girls attending private schools to play sports, the law is still forbidding most girls in the country from sports and most physical education. The lift on the ban must be extended to all girls for it to have a real effect on women’s rights in the country.

Saudi Arabia girls enrolled in private schools are now allowed to take part in sports as long as they are ‘dressed appropriately’ and supervised by a female teacher. Despite the restrictions, this is an improvement over girls not being allowed to participate at all. Yet while many people celebrate this change, others worry that it still excludes many girls wishing to participate in sports and physical education. Most students in the country attend public schools, where there is no change in physical education programs. Girls in public schools are still denied access to physical education and sports. They are still forbidden from being active and healthy.

According to blogger Eman al-Nafjan, “This is not a big deal…Private schools already have a physical education program, and the government knows about them.” While lifting the ban seems like a significant step forward for women’s rights, it will make little practical difference for the country. For this change to have an effect on women’s rights, it must be the same for all girls in the country. Tell Saudi Arabia that all girls should be allowed to participate in physical education and sports.


Dear Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education,

Recently, you announced that girls at private schools in Saudi Arabia would be permitted to play sports and participate in physical education. While this is a step forward for women’s rights, for many it is not enough. The majority of girls in the country are enrolled in public schools, which still deny them access to physical education. Because of their gender and the fact they are in public schools, these girls are forbidden from being active and healthy.

I ask you to extend the right to participate in sports to girls at every school. Many girls at private schools already had access to physical education. Lifting the ban for them will make little practical difference. To truly have any effect for women’s rights in your country, you must give equal rights to all women and girls.


[Your Name Here]

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