Photoshop, you beast! Look at all the problems you cause.
I kid, I kid. The real problem here is Saudi Arabia’s backwards attitude towards women, which is the reason why IKEA airbrushed all the women out of its Saudi catalog. As you can see from these side-by-side photos which landed on the cover of Stockholm’s Metro newspaper, a charming domestic scene lost the female model so as to be deemed acceptable.
It’s just like the time an Orthodox Jewish newspaper Photoshopped Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of a photo taken inside the Situation Room … only with a frykantig and a dagstorp. [Al-Jazeera]
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.
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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]
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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 »