Bahrain’s Women Pioneers: Roqaya Al-Gassra

March 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Over the past ten years, women in Bahrain have ascended to the highest levels of politics, business and civil society. It is easy, however, to overlook the many women who have contributed to cultural and athletic life in Bahrain. Through her transcendent talent in track and field, Roqaya Al-Gassra has helped to challenge the status quo about women’s participation in sports.

In 2004, Al-Gassra became the first female runner in Bahrain’s history to compete at the Summer Olympics in Athens. When she competed, Al-Gassra became the first woman to ever to wear a hijab during a race. During the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Games in Beijing, she served as Bahrain’s flag bearer. In addition to her Olympic efforts, Al-Gassra was named Sportswoman of the Year in the 2011 Middle East Businesswomen and Leaders Achievement Awards, and has won several medals competing at the Asian Indoor and Arabian championships.

Thanks to Al-Gassra’s bravery, she showed the world the power and strength of Bahraini women and their determination to become more involved in the international community, no matter how hard they had to fight to get there.

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