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Kuwait launches sports club for women, the latest boost for females in Persian Gulf

Muneera al-Shatti has loved playing basketball since she was a child but it wasn't until Thursday that she had chance to show off her skills at a public arena in Kuwait.

As part of a new initiative launching sports leagues for women, al-Shatti and her teammates from Salwa Al-Sabah club downed Qadsiya club 63-13 in a game that attracted several hundred of men and women.

Several of the players, in deference to the conservative Muslim culture that is common across the Persian Gulf, wore leggings and covered their heads. Others, however, wore shorts and T-shirts.

The initiative to launch basketball, table tennis and athletic leagues for the first time in Kuwait illustrates how the landscape for women athletes is improving across the Persian Gulf where hard-liners oppose women playing sports.