Saudi Arabian Fact Sheet

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  • In Saudi Arabia, women are considered legally inferior to men. They are basically considered minors under the law, not full adults; they function more like possessions of the males in their family
  • Under the Saudi Guardian System, women must receive the permission of a male (husband, son, brother, etc) to attend school, receive medical attention, and apply for a passport.
  • Women are forbidden to drive, even if they hold an international driver’s license
  • Although more women than men graduate from Saudi universities, women make up only 5-10% of the workforce because of societal taboos on women for many career fields and government-enforced gender segregation in the workplace
  • Until 2 years ago, women had no identifying documents of their own and were instead listed on their male guardian’s ID
  • Saudi women are prohibited in participating in the Olympic Games in any capacity—as trainers, athletes, managers, or coaches
  • There exist no women’s sports leagues in Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia is the only country that does not allow the Olympic Torch into their borders
  • Saudi Arabia’s behavior starkly contrasts with the principles of equality outlined in the Olympic Charter
  • The International Olympic Charter states that “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

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