Nawal el Moutawakel was born on April 15, 1962 in Casablanca, Morocco. She is the first Moroccan, Arab, African and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the 400m hurdles event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
University studies in the United States led her to the position of athletics coach. In 1995, she became a member of the International Athletics Federation, then in 1998 an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, holding important positions on the Executive Board. At the same time, King Hassan II appointed her Secretary of State for Youth and Sports in Morocco in 1997, a position she held again in 2007 as Minister. She embodies the modern Moroccan woman, a figure of an emancipation movement through sport, culture and political integration. Thanks to her success, she was able to inspire many Moroccan women athletes, artists, and authors as well.
She combines her sporting career with an involvement in international institutions serving sport and women, particularly in the Maghreb. After conquering stadiums and sports halls, women are entering sports institutions. The media coverage of the Games was also an asset for the defense and conquest of rights. Out of 106 members in spring 2012, there were only 19 women.
Other sportswomen with a rich and symbolic background can be used as study themes such as Hassiba Boulmerka and Rakia Al-Gassra, the struggle of these Muslim women for the integration in sports, for the emancipation of women in general, continues in obtaining women’s delegations from all countries.