Skip Nav

Raha Moharrak Fighting for Women in Sports

The First Saudi Woman to Climb Everest Fights For Females in Sports

As the first Saudi Arabian woman to climb Mount Everest, it's no surprise that Raha Moharrak can't stop moving (in addition to Everest, she's climbed seven of the world's highest mountains), but now she wants more Saudi women moving alongside her.

A combination of laws and stigmas prevent women in Saudi Arabia from getting adequate exercise: until February, gyms for women were not allowed in the country, and even female students stop attending phys ed classes by middle school. But Raha is seeking to change that, and she's starting by speaking at schools and even men's forums to raise awareness for women in sports in the Kingdom.

"I'm really trying to change this mentality that sports is just for boys, sports is just football and medals and winning," she told CNNMoney in an interview. "It's not that. Which parent would not want their child to grow up healthy?"

For Raha herself, training was difficult growing up. First, she had to convince her father to allow her to climb, and when she finally did get the support of her family, she had to train outside of Saudi Arabia. "The reason why I started climbing was because I didn't wanna end up where I was expected to," she said. "It meant that I did something that was different and I'm pushing mentalities. You won't get criticized if you fit in the mold. You only get criticized when you're different."

How To Watch The Saudi Film Festival 2020
HRH Princess Reema Joins International Olympics Committee
When is Eid al Adha 2020?
13 Women Appointed to Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Council
COVID-19 |  When Can Expats Return to Saudi Arabia?
Hajj To Take Place In Saudi Arabia This Year
Saudi Princess Reema To Join Olympic Committee
COVID-19 | Saudi Arabia Reinstates Lockdown in Jeddah
Saudi Arabia UNESCO Site Al Ula To Reopen in October 2020
Saudi to Host Ad-Diriyah Biennale Foundation Art Event
Saudi Arabia to Implement 24 Hr Lockdown During Eid Al-Fitr
Saudi Star Aseel Omran Best Fashion Looks
Latest Love