The I read the part about the father who married off his eight-year-old daughter to a 47-year-old man to have his debts forgiven. The whole world should know about things like this happening. However, the move towards greater freedom for women has been accompanied by a crackdown on dozens of women’s rights activists, many of whom remain in prison where their families allege they have been tortured. We so often hear nothing about the consequences of these laws and customs, or maybe just snippets. The joint statement said, “We call on Saudi Arabia to take meaningful steps to ensure that all members of the public, including human rights defenders and journalists, can freely and fully exercise their rights to freedoms of expression, opinion, and association, including online, without fear of reprisals.”. But five months later, King Salman issued a decree allowing women to access government services without being required to obtain a male guardian’s approval. Under his leadership, the requirement of male guardian’s permissions was waved off from public services. Male Guardianship is a system within Saudi Society that requires women to have a male “guardian,” which is usually a male relative, who has to accompany and give permission to a woman for her to be allowed to do tasks. Women often face severe oppression, abuses or domestic violence by male guardians, but have no ability to report the crime to the police as filing a complaint or a court case requires permission of the male guardians! Women cannot travel internationally without her male guardian… Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq al-Qunun made headlines after escaping alleged abuse. Wajeha al-Huwaider is a Saudi women's rights activist who in 2003 was banned by Saudi authorities from publishing her opinions in Saudi media and was arrested again after holding a women's rights street protest in August 2006. What is their justification for treating any human worst than an animal? Potential reforms to travel rules for women were also mentioned in Saudi Arabia’s Okaz newspaper on Tuesday. Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said: “We certainly hope it’s true. Her case has sparked global outrage due to the extreme and legally questionable nature of her extradition. In January, 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq al-Qunun made headlines after escaping alleged abuse at the hands of her family and barricading herself in a hotel room in Thailand. Saudi Arabia's persecution of … The issue of male guardianship laws in the Kingdom has been a hot topic of debate worldwide, including social media, and a concern for every household in the Kingdom. Women are not allowed to leave the house without a male accompany. Learn more about who can be harmed by these systems and how they operate. Nationally and internationally people started considering Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) as a reformer of women’s rights. That is just shocking. In late July, Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers promulgated landmark amendments to the three laws that will begin to dismantle the country’s discriminatory male guardianship system. The Guardian, a British newspaper, thankfully can still be read without a paywall, which is how I saw a recent piece on how Saudi women have taken to battling the country’s male guardianship system via Twitter.. Twitter, as you may remember, has become an extremely powerful social network in Saudi society, as its users can remain anonymous and push for social changes like women finally … Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian -- usually a father, husband or brother or in some cases a son, according to Human Rights Watch. “If confirmed, the news marks a small and long-overdue concession to domestic and international calls on the kingdom to improve its record on women’s rights,” said Taif al-Khudary, a legal officer at the Gulf-focused legal advocacy NGO MENA Rights Group. In March 2019, a statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, the Saudi authorities accepted the recommendations of the abolition of the male guardianship system made as part of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November 2018 by 18 countries. Male guardianship is based on Sharia Law, which is not a codified system of law, but more of social customs in enforcing certain prohibitions on women. The male guardianship system affects women’s life and existence from birth to death and has really dire consequences. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Earlier this year, at least 36 countries, including all 28 members of the European Union, have signed a statement condemning Saudi Arabia’s human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR). Male guardianship is based on very oppressive and rigid social norms, might take years to abolish till women in all parts of the society receives true freedom! . The kingdom’s guardianship laws have been under renewed scrutiny this year after a series of young Saudi women fled the country seeking asylum. Murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, torture and violation of detained women rights activists finally alerted the International community again the rising leader of Saudi Arabia. King Fahd hospital in Al Bahah postponed amputating a critically injured woman’s hand in July 2013, because she had no male legal guardian to authorize the procedure. “The current discussion is about how to make this happen as soon as possible without causing a stir.”. Under this system, all women must have a male guardian (wali), either a father, husband, uncle or son, sign off on what a woman can or cannot do in her life. I am an advocate of gender equality and women empowerment. In the absence of any penal code, it is very difficult for the International community to assess the improvements. Kippi #kippiathome. She was refused departure from Saudi Arabia at the Bahraini border all three times because of her lack of male-guardian authorisation. Travel restrictions for women over the age of 18 are due to be lifted this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, quoting Saudi officials familiar with the matter. Learn how your comment data is processed. 367. Even here in India women are not treated as an ewual to men in most parts. While there definitely still is a long way to go before women have equal rights in this country, the international pressure on the dire human rights situation in Saudi Arabia will hopefully implement the recommendations made by UPR. The stories of the women taking a stand are inspiring, I feel so sad after reading this post. Her story created huge attention; the #SaveRahaf reached out to humanitarian activists, journalists, diplomats and representatives of several International States. A royal decree ended the kingdom’s long-standing ban on women driving in 2018 and women no longer need their guardian’s permission to get a job, enroll at university or undergo surgery. In the absence of any penal code, it is very difficult for the International community to assess the improvements. The request came following a report by the. Very well research and compiled post. It allows men to track women allow or prohibit women to travel through airports! I would be interested in direct suggestions for how we can help this cause. Saudi Arabia could be planning to relax the country’s strict male guardianship laws to allow women to leave the country without needing permission from a male relative, according to reports. A witness quoted in The Australian that a woman being pulled out of a room with her mouth taped shut, and her body was wrapped in a sheet. Very difficult to read all of the injustices that happen to women. A woman can be arrested on charges of “disobedience” of the male guardians. In another 2009 case, a father sent his daughter to a mental institution as punishment for her attempts to marry outside their tribe. Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images. The male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia is not just law: it is a set of bylaws and state-sanctioned discriminatory policies and practices that restrict a … This was such a comprehensive summary that no one can ignore. All females, girls, and women are forbidden from traveling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their male guardians. The restrictions in women’s movement can be witnessed on a daily basis. Thank you for bringing to light the male guardianship rule in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, at least 36 countries, including all 28 members of the, Human Rights Council (OHCHR). In June 2009, she protested against male guardianship by trying three times to enter Bahrain without permission from her male guardian. Such a move would have a radical impact on life in the conservative kingdom, where human rights organisations say the male guardianship system makes women second-class citizens. But quite ironically, the rampant arrest of women’s rights activists just before the driving ban was lifted, shocked the world. I feel so bad for those who are born into that abusive culture. She barricaded herself and shared her story on Twitter appealing asylum to any other country. Women are treated as possessions of their male guardians. The world we live in is gradually evolving and one day Saudi will get it and get there. I really wish more countries treated people equally. Loujain al-Hathloul was one of the most prominent voices in the movement. The joint statement said, “. She was forcefully boarded and sent back to Saudi Arabia. irrespective of their age, education or employment status, must have a male guardian, typically a father, brother, husband or uncle (. Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system treats women as legal minors, requiring them to obtain male permission to travel, marry, work and now drive. It baffles me how poorly women are treated in other countries outside the US. Women in Saudi Arabia are not guaranteed a fair trail. Saudi women still need the permission of a male relative to make major life decisions, including marriage, divorce and obtaining a passport. Women need their guardian’s permission for: Male guardianship is based on Sharia Law, which is not a codified system of law, but more of social customs in enforcing certain prohibitions on women. Male guardians often abuse their power. In Saudi Arabia, laws only become laws when they are issued as a royal decree. I’m happy that so many countries are condemning Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, You just made me so emotional and I don’t even know what to say. The religious authorities had long argued that male guardianship laws should prevent women from driving themselves. Women in Saudi Arabia, irrespective of their age, education or employment status, must have a male guardian, typically a father, brother, husband or uncle (mahram). Saudi mainstream media has heavily criticized Canada and the incident was described as “Canadian attempt at stirring up civil strife by inciting the Kingdom’s teenage girls to abandon social mores”. http://www.thecozyme.com. , Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, described the petition as a “crime against the religion of Islam and an existential threat to Saudi society”. Reforming individual aspects of the guardianship system won’t liberate Saudi women from the control of men. As a male blogger focusing on women empowerment, i am shocked at these practices. Saudi Arabia drew international plaudits last year when it lifted a longstanding ban on women driving. It comes as welcome news that authorities in Saudi Arabia have taken important steps toward dismantling the repressive male guardianship system, which treats women in the country as minors. Women are treated like second class citizens in Saudi Arabia. This is shocking to be honest. There has not been an official royal degree enforcing the legal guardianship system. It is against basic human rights. Under Saudi law, all females must have a male guardian , typically a father, brother, husband, or uncle (mahram), but in 2019 this law was partially amended to exclude women over 21 years old from having a … Wow! The reported changes to travel rules are understood to be recommended by a government committee set up in 2017 to review the country’s often ad hoc implementation of the guardianship laws. Strict rules governing women’s lives could be changed according to Saudi newspaper, Last modified on Thu 11 Jul 2019 18.16 BST. I started reading this and immediately thought how awful it is that this happens. The request came following a report by the Human Rights Watch claiming that the women were subjected to abuse, electric shocks, beatings, flogging, and rape threats. In January 2019, British parliamentarians and lawmakers sought access to eight detained female activists in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system continues to be the greatest obstacle to women’s rights even though there have been limited reforms in the last ten years. Women will no longer require permission from a male guardian to travel abroad and can apply for a passport without authorization. “If the Saudi authorities were truly committed to women’s rights they would release and drop all charges against the women activists, who have been persecuted precisely for advocating for the male guardianship system to be abolished. However, restrictions on women remain - most notably, the "male guardianship system… This is a reminder of how fortunate US citizens are and our obligation to help others throughout the world gain equal footing. Awful state of affairs for females in Saudi Arabia. Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to obtain passports and travel abroad without a male "guardian" to accompany them, according to a change … Women are treated as possessions of their male guardians. This article is such an eye opener. It’s odd that this news has not come from an official announcement, but it could be a sign that internally there is an effort to leak information like this to pressure [Saudi crown prince] Mohammed bin Salman into actually making this move'.”, Hala al-Dosari, a Saudi activist and academic based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “If it does happen it would lead to a spike in women seeking asylum. While there definitely still is a long way to go before women have equal rights in this country. An American woman, divorced by a Saudi … issued a detailed report on male guardianship in Saudi Arabia describing the activism against male guardianship as “incredible and unprecedented”. Here's what you need to know about the system. I could not live in a society like this. Lasloom’s whereabouts, since returning to Saudi Arabia still remains unknown. The report, “Boxed In: Women and Saudi Arabia’s Male Guardianship System,” begins by saying: “In Saudi Arabia, a woman’s life is controlled by a man from birth until death. In Saudi Arabia, a woman’s life is controlled by a man from birth until death. The system also makes it difficult for women to seek help for domestic and sexual violence issues or win child custody cases. All females, girls, and women are forbidden from traveling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their male guardians. Marriage and divorce and typically for any important decisions in their lives. Here in the US, we often take our rights for granted. Around 2500 women sent telegrams to King Salman. Wow! Saudi Arabia officially lifted the ban on driving for women in June 2018. She was finally rescued by a team of UNHCR representatives, and received asylum in Canada! Last year, Saudi Arabia once again landed on the “Ranking of Freedom of the Press” published annually by, as one of the worst places for freedom of the press, coming in at 169 out of a total of 180. In 2016, under the leadership of women activists Aziza al-Yousef, Loujain al-Hathloul, and Eman al-Nafjan, fourteen thousand people signed a petition, calling for the male guardianship system to be fully abolished. Elective surgery, particularly when sexual in nature. Against the backdrop of a Saudi state that does not have a codified criminal code, this paper explores how rape is defined in Saudi courts and to what extent and how women’s rights activists have put rape on the agenda. Thank you for spreading awareness that women do not have equal rights around the globe. So sad. In January 2019, a teenager, Rahaf Mohammed, created International media attention and sensation on Social Media about the Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia. Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, but in some cases a brother or even a son, who has the power to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf. Share. Sources stated that she is held at the Correctional Facility for Women in Riyadh. It’s sad to see. Wow! This incidence revived anti-male-guardianship campaign on Twitter, with the trending slogan, “Remove guardianship and we won’t all migrate”. Thanks for speaking up. 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She was eventually given refugee status in Canada. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If a woman is detained for any reason, the police will not release her unless her guardian comes to receive her. It is also one of the five countries detaining the highest number of journalists. Her husband had died in the same car crash that left her and her daughter critically injure, In 2016, under the leadership of women activists. In January 2019, British parliamentarians and lawmakers sought access to eight detained female activists in Saudi Arabia. Women in Saudi Arabia need a male guardian's consent to conduct a host of activities, but King Salman intends to loosen some of these rules. Nationally and internationally people started considering Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) as a reformer of women’s rights. Thank you for detailed and not subjective inside for guardianship in Saudi Arabia. Their witness statements carry half the weight of a man’s. It is really sad because all these is not communicated through the media. “There is no question that the leadership, the government and the people want to see this system changed,” a Saudi royal with knowledge of the planned changes told the Journal. How does it affect the lives of women of Saudi?