This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Hindus have welcomed Saudi Arabia’s reported historic announcement of allowing its women to compete in the Olympics for the first time.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, hailed it as a “step in the right direction” for the desert kingdom.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, commended Saudi Arabia for this groundbreaking, bold and long- awaited reform, allowing women to play a more active role in the society. It was a major advancement for the rights of women.
Rajan Zed pointed out that women had made significant contributions to Saudi society and this step would further their roles in the advancement of the country and world. In September last, Saudi Arabia announced giving right to women to vote and run in future municipal elections and to be appointed to all-male influential advisory Shura Council from next term in 2015.
Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar were reportedly the only three countries left who never sent women athletes to Olympic Games. Besides this announcement of Saudi Arabia; Qatar and Brunei have also reportedly made announcements to send women athletes to upcoming London Olympics. Zed described it as “an important positive step forward which raised hopes”.
According to reports, women are not issued driving licenses in Saudi Arabia, need permission from a male relative to participate in public life and segregation of the sexes is enforced. But, women graduates in Saudi Arabia reportedly outnumber male graduates.
Established in 1932, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, reportedly world’s dominant oil producer sitting on largest hydrocarbon reserves, is birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, cradle of Islam and land of two holiest mosques in Mecca (Masjid al-Haram) and Medina (Al-Masjid al-Nabawi). It is also home to Madain Saleh, huge sand dunes, Arabian oryx, spectacular reefs, and traditional Bedouin hospitality. King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud is head of the state.
London 2012 Olympics are being held from July 27 to August 12.