Monday, September 30, 2013

Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia

I found a fascinating article about women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Last January, King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the Shura Council (the article describes it as being similar to a parliament). It was a historic act in a country where women have faced unbelievable oppression. King Abdullah has initiated a number of changes in Saudi society that have improved the lives of women in recent years. For instance, women must now be given national identification cards which is a step towards acknowledging them as human beings rather than the property of their fathers and husbands. While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a tremendous amount that needs to be accomplished in Saudi Arabia to liberate women and provide them with fundamental human rights. Women are still not permitted to drive in the country and their "male guardian" is sent a text message every time they leave Saudi Arabia. Thus, enormous problems still exist in the country that practically enslave women. Hopefully the newly appointed female politicians will be treated as equals and can initiate changes that will improve the lives of women in Saudi Arabia. Here is the link to the article:

I also discovered a news segment on CNN that discusses a historic moment that occurred in 2011. King Abdullah announced that women would be given the right to vote in the 2015 elections. This was a huge moment in the fight for women's rights in Saudi Arabia. I think it is important for us to remember that as we study the women's suffrage movement in the United States, there are still women in the world who have never had the right to vote. We have discussed how horrible it is that such injustices occurred in our own nation in past decades--but it is remarkable to think that these same human rights violations CONTINUE to happen every day in other parts of the world. Here is the link to the news segment: 

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