Brunei, Male Only Policy?

More than twenty years ago when I went to UK, I had a hard time explaining where Brunei was. Ten years later when I was studying for my Masters in the USA, it was the same problem. But I thought recently with our disappearing act in the 2008 Olympics and our recent run-in with BAFA/FIFA saga, many journalists, especially sporting ones would have realised where Brunei was. Apparently not so. In their minds, Brunei is still aparently somewhere in the hot desert sun and according to them, we were in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This is a Monday news entry from The Florida Times-Union:-


Aside from displaying great teamwork and acting as source national pride, the Olympics also serve as a reminder of how far America has come in relation to women in sports — and how far some other countries still have to go.

According to the Associated Press, the IOC is unhappy with three member countries because of the countries’ attitudes toward female athletes.

While IOC president Jacques Rogge didn’t name the countries, he did say they posed “religious, cultural and political difficulties for women” to compete in sports, according to the AP.

In the 2008 Beijing Games, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates finally allowed women to compete, but even now, such wealthy and seemingly progressive Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei maintain a male-only policy.

Even worse, on Friday, IOC member and former prime minister of Tunisia, Mohamed Mzali, protested allowing women’s boxing in the 2012 London Games.

“I have difficulty in imagining young women, with good figures [fighting in the ring] and receive hard knocks on their breasts, which are meant to feed babies,” Mzali said, according to the AP.

It’s a shame that in 2009, that attitude still persists in some places. And a world-wide event like the Olympics that helps bring countries together shouldn’t allow countries to participate if they’re still unable to recognize such a large number of their citizens as valued individuals.



H.M. said…
It is really quite tiresome that people, in general, are still making that mistake. But one would think that people do their research before publishing NEWS. It's the Google and Wikipedia generation... just a few clicks to make sure that the main facts in your article are accurate! (p.s. I am sure this applies to all news-publishing agencies worldwide; that said, I am not 'sindir'ing anybody :))
D.B. said…
Funny they got two facts wrong about Brunei, one the ASSUMPTION that Brunei is in Middle East, and secondly thinking that Brunei has the male only policy...why don't these journalists come and visit Brunei, and see for themselves...

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