Landmark ruling means female citizens will be allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time in the country’s history
After a last minute decision Saudia Arabia is to allow women to take part in this summer’s Olympic Games for the first time.
The move comes after the International Olympic Committee faced calls from women’s rights activists to ban the country from the event after the Saudi Olympic committee seemed to rule out sending women athletes to London.
The regime, which closed women’s private gyms in 2009 and restricts female participation in sport, has been under pressure to take a more liberal approach by the Olympic board.
The decision to allow women to participate was backed by Saudi Arabia’s ruler King Abdullah who has been subtly pushing for greater women’s rights in the country.
However due to a lack of time to prepare before the games kick off on July 27 the only Saudi female competitor is expected to be 18-year-old showjumper Dalma Malhas.