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 »
Tag Archives: saudi arabia
Take a look at the above images of Mariah Carey: In one picture, she’s in an adorable crop top and shorts set. In the other, she’s decked out in pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Which is real and which is fake? It turns out the fully-clothed Carey is Saudi Arabia’s censored version of the image, in which adorable capri pants were airbrushed onto Mariah’s naked legs. In the conservative Muslim country even superstars have to tone it down.
After the jump, some other Mariah Carey album covers and images that have gotten the Photoshop Magic treatment. Keep reading »
Imagine if every time you left the country — for a vacation, for college, for a new job — you needed permission from your father, brother or husband.
That’s the story of Saudi Arabian women’s lives: women have male guardians (“mahrams”) who must go through a bureaucratic process to grant them permission to travel unaccompanied. But now, technology might be involved: recently, at least one Saudi women’s rights activist claims her husband received a text message from the foreign ministry when she left the country for a vacation. Keep reading »
A new law in Saudi Arabia has caused quite a bit of confusion. Are you sitting down? OK, so a strict version of Islam forbids women to come in contact with men who are not their relatives. And so the Saudis have issued a fatwa demanding that women who come into regular contact with unrelated men should breastfeed them so that they can be considered relatives. But the big issue is not the law, believe it or not. The heated debate is about the logistics of the law. Keep reading »
- A Saudi Arabian woman named Sawsam Salim has been sentenced to 300 lashes and one and a half years in jail for appearing in court without a male chaperone and filing complaints against government officials who harassed her for doing so. Salim first appeared in court unchaperoned in 2004 requesting to get her husband, who could have been such a chaperone, out of prison. In Saudi Arabia, all women and girls must be accompanied by a male guardian to conduct public business. [Ms. Magazine]
- Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) appeared on “Good Morning America” today and announced that he and 11 other House Democrats will not vote for Obama’s health care reform bill unless more restrictions are put on abortion coverage. Stupak is a sponsor of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which was attached to the House version of the health care bill and is explained in full here. [Mediaite]
It’s the best possible ending to the most disgusting marriage I’ve ever heard of. A 12-year-old Saudi girl is seeking a divorce from her 80-year-old cousin-turned-husband. That was not a typo. She’s 12; he’s 80. And yes … they are related. She was sold … err … married to him for $30,000 against the wishes of her mother. How is this even legal, you ask? Saudi law does not specify a minimum age for marriage. But the Saudi Human Rights Commission thinks the marriage is wrong and has decided to take a stand and help the little girl obtain a divorce. Thank God! Here’s hoping that the ruling in this case will set a precedent which will make Saudi officials reevaluate the law when it comes to legal marriage age. [Newser] Keep reading »
Being covered in robes and veils from head to toe is not stopping women in Saudi Arabia from getting plastic surgery. Surprisingly, liposuction, breast augmentations, and nose jobs are drawing females to the plastic surgeon’s at the same rate as in other parts of the world. It seems that self-consciousness can grow even when people can’t see your features. The only time Saudi women can show off their clothes and haircuts are for their husbands, at women’s parties, and when abroad. Whereas 10 years ago, a plastic surgeon was quite the rarity in the Arab nation, now 35 surgical treatment centers exist. But the religious values that govern the majority of Saudi lives are not being overlooked when it comes to these procedures. Three years ago clergymen and plastic surgeons met to create a consensus on tampering with God’s natural creations. The result was that “undergoing an unsafe procedure or changing the shape of a ‘perfect nose’ just to resemble a singer or actress” was haram, or forbidden, while “small breasts, fixing features that are causing a person grief, or reverse damage from an accident” is halal, or sanctioned. Keep reading »
Talk about sticking it to the man. A group of 26 women in Saudi Arabia are now “lingerie graduates.” At a 10-day retreat led by an Australian woman, the group spent 40 hours learning how to correctly fit a bra, display merchandise, and deal with customers. Victoria’s Secret even donated bras to help out with the undie education.
So why was this training needed? In Saudi Arabia, only men can work at malls, meaning that most lingerie stores are staffed by dudes. And come on, who wants their chest measured by some fumbling man who doesn’t know what he’s doing? Plus, there are no fitting rooms in Saudi stores because a woman is prohibited to undress outside her home. Keep reading »