- Saudi Arabia plans to build several all-female industrial cities as a way for 5,000 businesswomen to be “separate but equal” alongside the country’s men without needing to intermigle. The kingdom already has the biggest all-female college in the world, but now it is developing planned cities where only women will be allowed to work. Presumably women won’t be allowed to drive in these cities, either, although I suppose it will be difficult to enforce the law against traveling without a male guardian’s permission. What do you think of Saudi Arabia’s “women-only” cities idea? [Guardian UK, Guardian UK]
- How would a Vice President Paul Ryan affect women, especially women’s health? [The Daily Beast, Think Progress, Democracy Now]
- Women lost fewer jobs than men during the recession, but have been slower to find work. At last, that employment gap is equalizing. [Wall Street Journal]
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Tag Archives: saudi arabia
Two women made history at the 2012 Olympics for being the first-ever female Saudi Arabians to compete in the Games.
But one of those young women, Wojdan Shakerkai, who competed in judo (and lost), has paid dearly for being a trailblazer: the 16-year-old girl has been lambasted as a “prostitute” by misogynists back home. Keep reading »
A Spanish court dismissed a rape case against a Saudi prince and billionaire, after it was decided there was not sufficient evidence to press charges. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, 57, the nephew of King Abdullah, had been accused of raping a Spanish model on a yacht owned by the Saudi royal family off the island of Ibiza in August 2008. The prince claimed he had not been in Ibiza at the time and had in fact been in France with his family, which dozens of witnesses can allegedly confirm, his lawyers claim. It does not seem to be in dispute that the then-20-year-old woman was attacked, however. She sent a text message to a friend on the night of the alleged attack saying she thought her drink had been spiked; when the victim was examined afterwards, her urine contained a sleep-inducing tranquilizer and semen. Apparently that DNA evidence has never been tested against the prince’s DNA. The victim claims that the case — which was already dismissed once before by a lower court for lack of evidence — is not being handled with due seriousness because the man she has accused is one of the richest, most powerful men in the world with stakes in NewsCorp and CitiGroup.
- Saudi Arabia will begin enforcing a law that requires lingerie shops to only employ women, so that men and women do not have to come in contact with each other while buying undergarments. [BBC]
- Washington’s Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, announced today that she will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. In a press conference today, Gov. Gregoire said, “Some say domestic partnerships are the same as marriage. That’s a version of the discriminatory, separate but equal argument of the past. For decades that argument was used to keep African Americans separate in schools, at their apartments, at drinking fountains. After all, the argument went, those separate places were just as good. But we, Americans knew, separate is not equal and finally the law caught up.” [Think Progress]
- The real losers of last night’s GOP caucus in Iowa? American women. [Women Are Watching] Keep reading »
- Saudi women will be able to vote and run for office without a male guardian’s approval in 2015, an official has announced. Women in Saudi Arabia require a male guardian’s permission — usually a father, brother or husband — to work, travel, study abroad, and marry, along with numerous other activities. Some see King Abdullah’s recent support of giving more rights to Saudi women as a slow sign of progress. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez de Kirchner has thyroid cancer and will take 20 days off in January for surgery and recuperation. [BBC]
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tops the list of most admired women in the world, according to a Gallup poll. Clinton is followed by Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, and Condoleezza Rice, respectively. [New York Times] Keep reading »
Religious police in Saudi Arabia may now stop
sluts women in public walking around with “tempting” eyes. In other words, Saudi gals with attractive peepers may be forced to cover them up, if a vice officer deems them inappropriate. This is only the most recent “repressive measure” that may be taken against women by the Islamic state. Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, or CPVPV, is a branch of the government that enforces the restrictive dress codes of the state, particularly those applied to women. In current Saudi law, it is already required that women out in public don a veil. But covering up “tempting” eyes? Mind-blowing. [USA Today]
Saudi Arabia is on a roll with this not-treating-women-too-much-like-2nd-class-citizens thing! Earlier this week King Abudllah announced that women could vote and run in elections. Then on Wednesday, a member of his staff told the AP a Saudi woman will be spared a punishment of 10 lashes for flouting the country’s ban on women driving. The woman, Shaima Jastaina, was found guilty of driving without a license (as Saudi Arabia only issues such licenses to men) and sentenced to 10 lashes. Geez Louise, hold onto your testicles, boys, because it is like the office of Ms. magazine over there! Just kidding: the official speaking to the AP declined to elaborate about the amnesty, which may signify the king is trying not to draw attention to it and risking angering Saudis who oppose the expansion of women’s rights. But two grand, pro-women gestures in one week is still something to celebrate. [Al-Jazeera]
Saudi Arabian women may now vote and run for office, King Abdullah declared on Sunday, ending a portion of the restriction on women’s rights in the region. Women in Saudi Arabia are still required to have a male chaperone (usually a male relative) to do most things and are still forbidden from driving. Therefore, the extent to which women actually can exercise their right to vote or to run for office may be limited. However, the king has indicated with this decree that the kingdom may be inching towards change. According to The New York Times, he told the country in an address, “We refuse to marginalize the role of women in Saudi society.” He added that women will be appointed to a government council that advises the monarchy on policy. Keep reading »
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 »
- Today is the day Saudi Arabian women are holding a mass protest by breaking the law and driving. Our thoughts are with them! [Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Beast]
- Brazil is considering a quota for Sao Paulo Fashion Week which requires that 20 percent of its models be black. If only American fashion shows would do the same thing. [Daily Mail UK]
- A boarding school in Kenya offers fathers a traditional dowry to secure their girls an education. [CNN]