The rights of women in Muslim society often lead to a contentious debate (even among Westerners who cannot accurately speak for these women). Some would argue that women who choose to wear a burqa are actually more liberated than those who are free to wear a bikini, since the long cloth effectively covers them from men's prying eyes, etc.
Regardless of your take on it, the women of Doha, Qatar have a new circumstance based upon their gender that they must now deal with -- the Fitness First gym chain has, under the orders of the state, disallowed males and females to work out in the same room. Women are being redirected to smaller, less-equipped facilities that are apparently a part of the changing area, though they will still be allowed to use the prayer rooms along with men. It looks like Qatar is following the steps of neighbor Saudi Arabia, where women must go to specially licensed gyms because all their previous options have been closed by the government. Saudi women have even protested with a campaign called, "Let Her Get Fat."
The Middle East regularly experiences temperatures well over 100F, which makes working out outside quite difficult (and even if you can endure the heat, you must do so with covered arms and legs if you're a women out in public). Coupled with the region's extremely high rates of obesity and diabetes (one of the highest in the world), prohibiting women to exercise is a definite wrong decision.
What made this recent policy a reality, I wonder. Why now? Burqa or no burqa, I can't imagine not being able to maintain my own health and body at my own discretion!