The London Olympic Games will have one huge victory that will go almost unnoticed but is nevertheless enormous in its significance. Every competing nation, all of the 205, are sending women athletes.
Now you might think, so what? But it’s actually a big thing. Arab countries have quietly opened their in-take of athletic representation to include women. Sure some of the women competing are in fact Arab women now living in the USA and able to train without police supervision and protection. Still. The nations are admitting that women are allowed to show themselves on such a public stage. In front of thousands of spectators and millions on the box.
A true victory. Thank you to all of those women who have stood firm, often under personal threat and disregarding their safety, and who have so steadfastly pushed the authorities. They have done this quietly, brashly, with quiet voices and sometimes with strident demands. Each one of you a huge thank you. We as women can quietly celebrate another huge victory.
Well done all of you. Too numerous to count or give credit to. Efforts that have produced a small wave sometimes and sometimes a full on tsunami of change. Let’s carry on. It’s worth it in the end. Your daughters will thank you. Mind you, they might even just consider it their right. And that’s also good.
To commemorate this achievement a photographic exhibition is being held during the London Olympics. It’s at Sotheby‘s and by photographer Brigitte Lacombe. It showcases Arabic women athletes during the Arabic Games in 2011 held in Qatar. And for more on Muslim women in sport visit this blog.