Saudi women face fitness clubs ban

Saudi women could see their private sports clubs and gyms closed down because the government seems likely to agree licensing of the clubs for men only…

The problem that has emerged in recent months is that women’s gyms are unlicensed and so illegal. Female fitness fans complain of a lack of places to exercise outside the home since they cannot use men’s clubs…

This month a group of Saudi women launched a campaign entitled Let Her Get Fat, in opposition to a decision to close down all-female wellness centres that are not under the supervision of a government hospital or clinic.

Leading Saudi clerics have condemned the gyms and clubs as “shamelessness” and warned that women would be tempted to leave their homes and neglect their husbands and children…

Last month Prince Nayef, the powerful interior minister and half-brother of King Abdullah, said the kingdom had no need of either women MPs or elections. Shortly afterward he was named second deputy prime minister, boosting his chances for the succession.

Another wonderful fracking ally. I can’t think of anything “accepting” to say about theocratic royalty this backwards.

Any essential description of liberty has to include choice. So, may a nation have an official religion? Of course. And if there hasn’t been a recent rebellion, there may even be a ruling monarchy in place. But, people should have the right to participate in “official” mores – or not. At least that much.

The royal bureaucrats at the top of the heap in Saudi Arabia are only ensuring that their eventual downfall will not be tidy, shall we say.

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