05.05.136:15 PM ET

Saudi Girls Allowed to Play Sports

Only in private schools for now.

For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia is letting girls play sports in school. Well, in private girls’ schools. And the students can play only those sports that adhere to sharia, and they must wear “decent dress” at all times. But still, progress—especially on the heels of the unprecedented inclusion of two Saudi female athletes at the London Olympics. The landmark decision means officials will need to provide female students with sports fields and equipment, and it is likely to affect public schools and universities as well. Designated exercise areas have traditionally been available only to those who can afford health club memberships, especially since all Saudi women’s gyms were closed in 2010.