Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Sporting Interest Dims

Women's participation in sport appears to be in decline because of a lack of motivation, work commitments and secruity concerns.
A lack of sports facilities for Iraqi women is one reason for the remarkable popularity of home exercise equipment. But after an initial burst of enthusiasm, many women get bored and dispose of their newly acquired gear.

In a vox pop from the southern city of Kut, Rasha Rashid, a 33-year-old civil servant, said she has no spare time for sport as she is too busy and tired after work.

Shaaub Kadhim al Dayini, a former sprinter and track and field champion, told The Other Half that that women are no longer encouraged to join sport teams as they were in the past.

A reporter in Basra explained how girls are reluctant to join the Sport Education College because of the worsening security situation in the country. In the last two years, no women have even applied for a place there.

The college dean thought one solution could be setting up a sports department for just girls as many parents are unwilling to allow their daughters to study sport with boys.

In an interview, Niyan Nuraddin, head of al-Fatat girl’s sport’s club in the northern city of Kirkuk, spoke about women’s fears of kidnapping or murder if they joined such organisations.

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