UN Cancels Gaza Race After Hamas Rejects Women Runners
Annual marathon is called off over dispute
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2013 1:09 PM CST
Palestinian runners, Nader Al Masri, left, and Mahmoud Yousef, participate in the first Gaza marathon in 2011.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

(Newser) – An annual Gaza marathon race is now kaput because Hamas thinks it's immoral to have male and female runners on the same road. The UN called off April's race after failing to convince Hamas leaders to budge, reports the BBC. More than 800 runners had signed up to run in the international marathon, about half of them women, reports al-Jazeera. "We don't want women and men mixing in the same place," says a Hamas official. The same mindset makes it illegal for women to ride on the back of motorcycles and for men to work in hair salons, notes the AP.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Mar 6, 2013 10:03 AM CST
It's hard to believe that the UN finally did something correctly! Wow, the UN canceled a race!! Does this mean the UN has "earned" our compensation to keep it operating for the next year?
Mar 5, 2013 5:22 PM CST
it would seem women and the UN are not above placing their political agenda of the ANNUAL marathon. women have demonstrated there are no depths to which they will go to place the woman's agenda above all. how does the woman's movement actively work to degrade the life of already oppressed people, palestinians.
Mar 5, 2013 4:22 PM CST
I can wrap my head around people having a problem with men and women playing sports together. But why is it always the WOMEN who are then banned from competing? If these men wanted to follow old-fashioned rules of propriety, maybe they should have followed through with that and acted like gentlemen by bowing out of the race themselves so the women could participate. Except it's never actually about religion or manners or whatever they say it is. It's always about keeping women out of the public sphere.