Girls in Saudi Arabian schools do not currently have access to physical education classes, but the possibility of adding sports instruction to the curriculum is under discussion.
However, one Islamic Cleric voiced concerns that introducing PE classes would ultimately lead to prostitution. Abdullah Al Dawood, an Islamic cleric tweeted, “If we keep silent about the step of adding PE classes to girls’ schools then we are giving the Shoura Council a green light to continue the steps of Westernization and these steps will end in infidelity and prostitution.”
The Shoura Council voted 92-18 in favor of discussing the addition to the curriculum. The BLAZE reports that the girls would be segregated from the boys, taught by women, and still adhere to the guidelines of Sharia dress.
Last year the Shoura Council approved gym glasses for Saudi Arabian girls in private school. Human Rights Watch director of global initiatives Minky Worden said, “If the government can take down its barrier for private schools, it should give girls and women in publicly funded schools the same benefit.”
Worden explained that the PE classes will have “social, educational, and health benefits” for the female students.
Publication date: April 10, 2014