Imagine that you could not travel or go to school without your dad’s permission. You need him, your brother, or a male driver to take you anywhere you want to go in a car. He even has a say in who you get to marry.
This is life under Saudi Arabia‘s guardianship law — a combination of the legal code and religious doctrine within the kingdom. Men have guardianship over the unmarried women in their families, which usually means a father is guardian to his daughter (but in his absence, a son or uncle can fill in). When a woman marries, the guardianship switches over to her husband. Even when Saudi women are no longer minors, they are still treated like children in the eyes of the law.
One woman is trying to change all that: a 43-old-old doctor, going by the pseudonym “Samia” in press reports, is challenging her father’s guardianship in the Saudi Supreme Court. Keep reading »
Katya Koren, a 19-year-old contestant in the Miss Ukraine beauty pageant, was found stoned to death in a forest this week. Police are not clear on who killed her, but the main suspect is a mentally unstable 16-year-old boy who confessed to killing Koren, a Muslim, for violating sharia law by participating in pageants. The boy was possibly a “stalker” who was “obsessed” with Katya Koren and may have raped her before killing her. Other reports say that Katya Koren was stoned to death by a whole group of Muslims enacting sharia law. According to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, enacting sharia law in that part of the Ukraine is rare.
It’s incredibly sad in either case. But as someone who is extremely critical and unsupportive of beauty pageants, I just wanted to note that something I scoff at in America is, in other parts of the world, a freedom that I take for granted.
[Daily Mail UK] Keep reading »
On June 17, women in Saudi Arabia are planning a protest of the country’s ban on women drivers en masse by getting behind the wheel. Women in Saudi Arabia are forced to rely on male relatives or male drivers to get anywhere by car, and are not allowed to travel outside the country without a male relative’s permission or to vote. The Women2Drive campaign, which is gaining support through a Facebook group called “I will drive starting June 17,” will be an act of civil disobedience that could perhaps lead to a sea change of women’s rights in the Saudi kingdom. According to The New York Times, the protest will not have a centralized location. Women with valid drivers’ licenses from other countries are asked to get behind the wheel of their car, put on their seat belts, and drive around, going about their usual day. If they are able to, women are asked to film themselves driving and upload the video to YouTube. Keep reading »
France‘s ban on face-covering Muslim veils, like the niqab and the burqa, took effect yesterday. French citizens and tourists alike will be fined $215 for covering their faces in public or they must attend a class on French citizenship. Anyone who forced a woman to wear a veil in public faces a year in prison and a $43,000 fine — and fines are steeper if the person being forced to wear a veil is a minor. Muslim students are already banned from wearing headscarves in classrooms.
At least two women were taken in by police yesterday for daring to cover their faces with Islamic veils in public and a 27-year-old woman received the country’s first-ever fine for wearing a veil. Keep reading »
What do the fashionable jihadists of the world read? Why, Al Qaeda’s “Cosmo-style” (that’s Fashionista’s words, not ours) ladymag Al-Shamikha, which means “majestic woman.” The glossy 30-page magazine boasts interviews with martyrs’ wives, beauty advice on how to keep skin clear (not surprisingly, that boils down to “staying inside with your face covered”), and helpful hints for single ladies trying to score a “mujahideen,” or Muslim fighter. Keep reading »
Good news, domestic abusers! An Islamic court in the United Arab Emirates has ruled a husband or father can “discipline” his wife and children as long as he does not leave any marks. This decision follows a ruling where a man was taken to court for slapping his wife, injuring her bottom lip and teeth, and kicking his 23-year-old daughter, causing her to bruise. Keep reading »
“Burqa rage.” Never heard of it before? Me neither. Women being forced to wear burqas does makes me upset. But a 63-year-old French woman, known only as Marlene, took things too far when she attacked a woman who chose to wear a body-covering veil while furniture shopping in a Paris suburb. When Marlene saw the victim, known only as Shaika, 26, perusing a department store in a burqa, she asked the Muslim woman to disrobe. “I told her to take off the veil she had on her face,” she said. “I grabbed and pulled it.” Shaika refused to remove her burqa and Marlene allegedly began hitting her, successfully pulling off the veil and biting Shaika’s hand in the process. “Now I can see your face,” she allegedly shouted. Keep reading »