Exploring provision and practice of physical education and gender equity across four Arab Gulf countries

Yousra AL-Sinani, Tansin Benn, Mona ALAnsari, Eman Gaad

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and gender issues in the state (public) schools of four countries of the Arabian Gulf: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanates of Oman and Qatar. An Islamic feminist and social constructionist approach underpinned a multi-method study to explore the effects of situation on provision and practice for girls and women in physical education. Data were collected using 220 questionnaires and 20 in-depth interviews with volunteer teachers and education officials. Results indicated diversity of provision and practice within and between countries, gender inequalities, didactic methods and curriculum emphasis on sport performance. Despite a rhetoric of gender equality, socio-cultural attitudes reflected a different reality which disadvantaged girls and women in areas of physicality. Established and developing practice in physical education was happening in Bahrain and Qatar, emerging provision in Oman, but there were serious inequalities in training and learning opportunities for girls and women in Saudi Arabia. The schooling of the body in physical education inscribed and perpetuated cultural values and beliefs. The specific context of each country determined the rate of influence of modernity, and opportunities in the field for girls and women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
JournalInternational Sports Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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