Hot! Women’s Rights in the News

Photo by Lux Alptraum

Saudi Athletes Cause Controversy

The 2012 Olympics have marked a new turning point for women in Saudi Arabia after the country allowed two female athletes to compete in the games. Wojdan Shaherkani (Judo) and Sarah Attar (athletics) will be representing the conservative kingdom where women are subject to a number of restrictions.

The women’s participation has created controversy including a hash tag on Twitter describing them as “Prostitutes of the Olympics.” Saudi blogger Ahmed Al Omran tweeted the following about the female athletes representing his country in the Olympics:
@Ahmed: List of Saudi athletes who will compete in London Olympics. Interestingly, Sarah Attar appears without a headscarf:

Another person on Twitter added to the rising online conflict by tweeting that “Muslim athletes from Muslim countries have been participating in the Olympics for years. Sport only becomes prostitution when Saudi women practices it.” Now a number of people are calling for the prosecution of the Twitter user who came up with the harsh hash tag.

Feminists Protesting Spain’s Abortion Law

As Saudi Arabia is taking baby steps toward more rights for women, feminists in Spain have been pushing the boundaries in protest against a proposal for a new abortion law.

The law would make abortion illegal in cases where the fetus is deformed and would require 16 and 17 year olds to have parental permission before undergoing an abortion.  Many of the women argued that the law would take Spain back to the era of the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. If they think the Spanish government is being restrictive they should try living in Saudi Arabia for a few months.

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