By Bhawani Sahoo:
Saudi Arabia – a country where in the name of constitution the Quran is followed and accordingly are the rules, regulations and the fact that there is no freedom. It was a pleasant surprise when the authorities of Saudi Arabia allowed two women, Wojdan Shaherkani (judo) and Sarah Attar (athletics) of their country to participate in 2012 London Olympics. However, Saudi’s senior sports official Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal announced a set of mandatory rules for the women participants to be followed at the London Olympics.
1) Wearing suitable clothing (a head cover, full pants and full sleeve shirt) that complies with Sharia.
2) The athlete guardian should agree and accompany with her.
3) No mixing with men during the games.
Are these rules really logical? Is it possible for a sports woman to have a head cover while she is playing or not to talk to people around her, just because they are males? Maybe this is the reason, today Wojdan Shaherkani was asked by International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer to uncover her head before stepping on the mark. It’s very important to understand that rules should be made on the basis of equality and not on the basis of gender.
I must say that such rules can hardly be found in any country. Apart from theseÂ unrequitedÂ restrictions, what are more annoying, are the statements made against Saudi’s sports women. Recently, a harsh tag was posted on Twitter, which described them as the ”prostitutes of the Olympics’’. Are you shocked by this statement? Don’t be because in a country where 9 million women are still kept away from their basic rights and freedom, how could you expect respect for them, especially from those men who don’t know the actual meaning of prostitution.
Does that mean that the conservative religious clerics of Saudi Arabia are correct in their saying that women’s participation in sports is against their natural role? It’s been 4 years and still the government has not fulfilled its pledge to United Nation of Human Rights council to dismantle the male guardianship system. According to me, it’s the government’s failure to protect the rights of women, in fact the authorities have hardly done anything for the upliftment of their country’s women and this is the major reason why such kind of shameful acts exists in order to insult women in the name of religion.
It’s really strange, that Saudi Arabia’s first female Olympic Athletes are rewarded with the title of ‘prostitute‘ and are hardly recognised for their hard work and potential. This reminds me of a saying that, if you can’t respect a person for his/her good work, then you have no right to insult them as well. It’s very important that such kind of disturbing elements who want to disrespect a women’s dignity by misuse of social sites should be punished in such a way that no one else should dare to repeat such a shameful act again. And at the same time, the government of Saudi Arabia should come forward to protect their women in the same way, the way they make tough rules for their women in accordance with ‘Sharia‘.