Saudi Arabia's public schools to offer physical education for girls

RIYADH, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Girls in public schools in Saudi Arabia will receive physical education classes in the coming academic year, the country's Education Ministry has announced.

Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa issued a decree on Tuesday, under which classes will be gradually introduced in the 2017-2018 school year.

Lina K. Almaeena, a member of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, said the move resulted from the Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 initiatives.

"I'm very happy with the issue of the decree and this is a historic day for all Saudi girls in the Kingdom," she was cited by the daily Arab News as saying.

Saudi Arabia has long had one of the world's most restrictive environments for women, requiring women to have male guardians and obey a modest dress code. They are barred from driving and largely from participating in sports.

However, its restrictions on women's athletics have loosened in recent years with the government first formally allowing girls' sports in private schools four years ago.

Earlier this year, the country began issuing licenses for women's gyms, which had previously operated informally under salon and spa licenses.

[ Editor: meng ]


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