Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saudi Women Seek Equal Rights in Massive Twitter Campaign

Tens of thousands of Saudi women took to Twitter after Human Rights Watch (HRW) launched a social campaign aimed against cultural paternalism and male guardianship in Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for its oppression of human rights.

The effort was triggered after HRW released a July report on the state of women’s rights in the country. The watchdog report highlighted that so-called male guardianship, a strict form of gender-based cultural domination, is “the most significant impediment to realizing women’s rights in the country, effectively rendering adult women legal minors who cannot make key decisions for themselves.”

"In Saudi Arabia, a woman's life is controlled by a man from birth until death. 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," HRW reported.

Within the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi women cannot travel or marry without their male guardian’s permission. Women must be escorted by a male guardian to do such routine activities as renting an apartment, filing legal claims or going to class...

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