Clubs from 12 countries will compete in an array of events including basketball, volleyball, shooting and table tennis.
“The first session of Arab Women sports tournament will be a platform that gathers a range of Arab women’s teams that have confirmed participation in this major sports events,” said Noura Al Noman, General Director of Sheikha Jawahir Al Qasimi Executive Office, the President of the Higher Organizing Committee for the Women’s Arab Clubs session said at a press conference for the tournament.
Using this as a platform, a seminar on Arab women’s participation in various fields, including sports, will take place during the tournament in order to further empower and educate the audience on the role of women in the region.
Nada Naqbi, a member of the Organizing Committee and Director of the session said in a statement that “we received a great response and encouragement from several parties who commended on our organization for the first Arab Women Sports tournament in Sharjah.”
While Arab women’s tournaments exist in one sport discipline, this is the first tournament encompassing a wide variety of sports occurring simultaneously.
The tournament is scheduled to take place every four years with participants from countries across the region including Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Kuwait and UAE.
Although Arab women participate in various sporting tournaments including the Olympics, women are limited to certain sports due to both religious and cultural norms. No statistics exist for participation of Arab women in sports.
The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom of Saudi Arabia was recently threatened by the International Olympic Committee with being banned from the London Olympics if its team being sent did not include women. The country is fielding at least one woman in equestrian.