Experts think even though the crown prince MBS took some reformers actions and modern outlooks, activists are feeling more threatened and freedom of speech was never abused so much before. 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 world we live in is gradually evolving and one day Saudi will get it and get there. Women in Saudi Arabia: The Kafala and Male Guardianship Systems Join CODEPINK and Freedom Forward for a conversation about the kafala and male guardianship systems in Saudi Arabia with Dr. Hala Aldosari and Bethany Alhaidari, moderated by CODEPINK’s Danaka Katovich. 367. “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 the absence of any penal code, it is very difficult for the International community to assess the improvements. the international pressure on the dire human rights situation in Saudi Arabia will hopefully implement the recommendations made by UPR. The kingdom’s guardianship laws have been under renewed scrutiny this year after a series of young Saudi women fled the country seeking asylum. I am also a Certified Reiki Healer and a Certified Sexual Assault Counselor and Advocate. This was such a comprehensive summary that no one can ignore. Women in Saudi Arabia are not guaranteed a fair trail. Saudi Arabia drew international plaudits last year when it lifted a longstanding ban on women driving. Here in the US, we often take our rights for granted. We so often hear nothing about the consequences of these laws and customs, or maybe just snippets. Saudi women still need the permission of a male relative to make major life decisions, including marriage, divorce and obtaining a passport. It’s sad to see. that a woman being pulled out of a room with her mouth taped shut, and her body was wrapped in a sheet. Very well research and compiled post. Share. How does it affect the lives of women of Saudi? This is shocking to be honest. It’s a process. The report today must not be used as an excuse to ease international pressure on Saudi Arabia.”, 'What they did to me was so horrific': brutal silencing of a Saudi feminist. Sources stated that she is held at the Correctional Facility for Women in Riyadh. claiming that the women were subjected to abuse, electric shocks, beatings, flogging, and rape threats. Women are not allowed to leave the house without a male accompany. Saudi Arabia officially lifted the ban on driving for women in June 2018. My friend in India has to suffer through the same women oppression. Saudi Arabia has issued new laws that grant women greater freedoms by allowing any citizen to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing and controversial guardianship policy that had required male consent for a woman to travel or carry a passport. Loujain al-Hathloul was one of the most prominent voices in the movement. Women are treated as possessions of their male guardians. Wow! This is a reminder of how fortunate US citizens are and our obligation to help others throughout the world gain equal footing. All females, girls, and women are forbidden from traveling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their male guardians. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. She was finally rescued by a team of UNHCR representatives, and received asylum in Canada! 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 are not allowed to leave the house without a male accompany. Women are allowed half the inheritance of male family members. I really wish more countries treated people equally. In January 2019, a teenager, Rahaf Mohammed, created International media attention and sensation on Social Media about the Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia. Color for Equality / Equality Through Art (CEEA), Menstruation Exile in Nepal: Another Horrific Social Evil Revisited, Supporting People Impacted by Gender Based Violence in Kenya During the COVD-19 Pandemic, Domestic Work as An Obstacle For Women When Discussing Matrimonial Property. She was forcefully boarded and sent back to Saudi Arabia. This incidence revived anti-male-guardianship campaign on Twitter, with the trending slogan, “Remove guardianship and we won’t all migrate”. Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images. As dozens of Saudi women told Human Rights Watch, the male guardianship system is the most significant impediment to realizing women’s rights in … It is also one of the five countries detaining the highest number of journalists. It allows men to track women allow or prohibit women to travel through airports! “The current discussion is about how to make this happen as soon as possible without causing a stir.”. The ownership of a woman is passed from one man to another, typically from the father or the brother to the husband. 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. I feel so bad for those who are born into that abusive culture. In 2015, the Saudi government launched the, postponed amputating a critically injured woman’s hand in July 2013, because she had no male legal guardian to authorize the procedure. I could not live in a society like this. In January 2019, British parliamentarians and lawmakers sought access to eight detained female activists in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's male-guardianship tradition is based on a rigid, traditional view of the sexes. Around 2500 women sent telegrams to King Salman. Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system treats women as legal minors, requiring them to obtain male permission to travel, marry, work and now drive. 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. 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. 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. Human Rights Watch released a … She was eventually given refugee status in Canada. So sad. “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. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. In 2015, the Saudi government launched the Absher app hosted on the Google Play and Apple App store. When I come across such societies which are male dominated to this extent, I wonder when things are going to change. Lasloom’s whereabouts, since returning to Saudi Arabia still remains unknown. I’ve read a lot of news articles lately about young Saudi women fleeing their countries because of these issues. As a male blogger focusing on women empowerment, i am shocked at these practices. In 2008 in a reported case, a father married off his eight-year-old daughter to a 47-year-old man to have his debts forgiven. The male guardianship system affects women’s life and existence from birth to death and has really dire consequences. Dina Ali Lasloom, a Saudi woman who tried to flee her country in 2017 to escape a forced marriage, was detained in the Philippines. issued a detailed report on male guardianship in Saudi Arabia describing the activism against male guardianship as “incredible and unprecedented”. She was refused departure from Saudi Arabia at the Bahraini border all three times because of her lack of male-guardian authorisation. A Clinical Researcher by profession, I am originally from India; now live in California with my family. 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. There has not been an official royal degree enforcing the legal guardianship system. The religious authorities had long argued that male guardianship laws should prevent women from driving themselves. This article is such an eye opener. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Human Rights Watch issued a detailed report on male guardianship in Saudi Arabia describing the activism against male guardianship as “incredible and unprecedented”. In January 2019, British parliamentarians and lawmakers sought access to eight detained female activists in Saudi Arabia. The joint statement said, “. irrespective of their age, education or employment status,  must have a male guardian, typically a father, brother, husband or uncle (. The Saudi interior ministry, through which such changes would have to be implemented, did not immediately respond to the Guardian’s request for comment. Bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, has implemented sweeping social and economic reforms designed to wean the country off its dependence on oil revenue since he was appointed heir to the throne in 2017. She and the other activists were accused of treason and collusion with foreign governments. Thank you for detailed and not subjective inside for guardianship in Saudi Arabia. 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.”. Under Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system, every woman must have a male guardian who has the authority to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf. It baffles me how poorly women are treated in other countries outside the US. 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. Earlier this year, at least 36 countries, including all 28 members of the, Human Rights Council (OHCHR). 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. If a woman is detained for any reason, the police will not release her unless her guardian comes to receive her. The Grand Mufti, Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, described the petition as a “crime against the religion of Islam and an existential threat to Saudi society”. I write about women's rights, equality and gender based issues to create awareness and to include every body in my fight against gender discrimination. 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. The male guardianship system affects women’s life and existence from birth to death and has really dire consequences. That is just shocking. Very difficult to read all of the injustices that happen to women. Marriage and divorce and typically for any important decisions in their lives. Under his leadership, the requirement of male guardian’s permissions was waved off from public services. Sources stated that she is held at the Correctional Facility for Women in Riyadh. Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to obtain passports and travel abroad without a male "guardian" to accompany them, according to a change … All females, girls, and women are forbidden from traveling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their male guardians. . 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. I usually keep my opinions to myself but no one has the right to dictate a person. 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. Her husband had died in the same car crash that left her and her daughter critically injured. The planned changes would also lift restrictions on international travel for men under the age of 21 without the consent of designated male family members. Thank you for spreading awareness that women do not have equal rights around the globe. 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. 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. 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. 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. The restrictions in women’s movement can be witnessed on a daily basis. Thank you for giving a voice to those people and make people like me aware. Reforming individual aspects of the guardianship system won’t liberate Saudi women from the control of men. The world is progressing but women in these countries are being not given the opportunity to move ahead. In Saudi Arabia, laws only become laws when they are issued as a royal decree. It would also be a huge fanfare for [Bin Salman’s] supposed credentials as a reformer.”. However, restrictions on women remain - … “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. Kippi #kippiathome. But quite ironically, the rampant arrest of women’s rights activists just before the driving ban was lifted,  shocked the world. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. 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. Wow! 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. I started reading this and immediately thought how awful it is that this happens. I would be interested in direct suggestions for how we can help this cause. Wow! Rahad, after attempting to flee from an abusing family was detained in Thailand Airport! 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! 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. 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”. In Saudi Arabia, a woman’s life is controlled by a man from birth until death. Even here in India women are not treated as an ewual to men in most parts. Saudi Arabia officially lifted the ban on driving for women in June 2018. It still amazes me that we live in the world where everything is so modern but some women in other countries are still treated in primitive way. The stories of the women taking a stand are inspiring, I feel so sad after reading this post. Here's what you need to know about the system. 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. 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. But quite ironically, the rampant arrest of women’s rights activists just before the driving ban was lifted,  shocked the world. 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. 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. Their witness statements carry half the weight of a man’s. 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. are treated like second class citizens in Saudi Arabia. Lasloom’s whereabouts, since returning to Saudi Arabia still remains unknown. Her case has sparked global outrage due to the extreme and legally questionable nature of her, and the incident was described as “Canadian attempt at stirring up civil strife by inciting the Kingdom’s teenage girls to abandon social mores”. 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. 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. 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. In June 2009, she protested against male guardianship by trying three times to enter Bahrain without permission from her male guardian. The impetus to reform the travel rules had come “from the top”, another senior adviser said. Strict rules governing women’s lives could be changed according to Saudi newspaper, Last modified on Thu 11 Jul 2019 18.16 BST. I certainly hope that the laws change in Saudi Arabia so that women can be provided with equality. , with the trending slogan, “Remove guardianship and we won’t all migrate”. Women will no longer require permission from a male guardian to travel abroad and can apply for a passport without authorization. However, restrictions on women remain - most notably, the "male guardianship system… 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 … Traditionally, a woman’s male guardian from birth is her father and once she is married her guardian becomes her husband. While there definitely still is a long way to go before women have equal rights in this country. As long as men hold the power to decide, all … 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 … In recent years, Saudi Arabia has seen some reforms, including, among others, a ban on domestic violence in 2013. Thank you for this. It is really sad because all these is not communicated through the media. What you are doing is so important to bring light to these issues. Learn how your comment data is processed. By law, a brother, father or husband is the designated guardian, giving them the power to make a range of critical decisions on the woman’s behalf. Her story created huge attention; the #SaveRahaf reached out to humanitarian activists, journalists, diplomats and representatives of several International States. 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. The whole world should know about things like this happening. An American woman, divorced by a Saudi … I was always interested in the subject but there is hardly any onfo. The request came following a report by the. Learn more about who can be harmed by these systems and how they operate. 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. Women cannot travel internationally without her male guardian… 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. 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