Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Time for a culture clash. From the BBC:
Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow women to attend a football match against Sweden, reversing an earlier decision.

On Monday, Saudi authorities had told the Swedish Football Association that a change of stadium meant women could not watch the match in the capital, Riyadh.

But after intervention by Swedish diplomats on Tuesday, the Saudi authorities backed down.

The ban on women spectators had caused upset in Sweden, one of the world's leading nations on gender equality.
As well it might. It's hard to think of two more polarly opposed societies.
A May 2005 assessment by international NGO the World Economic Forum placed Sweden highest in the world on gender equality. In parliament, 45% of MPs are women.

Women in Saudi Arabia must be covered from head to toe and stay separate from men. They have traditionally played a very limited role in public life.
To emphasize the point, the BBC include this image in their report

with the caption: Women's rights are limited in Saudi Arabia - you reckon?

Well at least (after threats of a boycott) they get to see some football. Shame they can't drive to the match though.


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