A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

State sponsored misogyny

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The HRW released this report today: Human Rights Abuses Stemming from Male Guardianship and Sex Segregation in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has instituted a system whereby every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, who is tasked with making a range of critical decisions on her behalf. This policy, grounded in the most restrictive interpretation of an ambiguous Quranic verse, is the most significant impediment to the realization of women’s rights in the kingdom. The Saudi authorities essentially treat adult women like legal minors who are entitled to little authority over their own lives and well-being.

Every Saudi woman, regardless of her economic or social status, is affected by these guardianship policies and the deprivation of rights that their enforcement entails. Adult women generally must obtain permission from a guardian to work, travel, study, or marry. Saudi women are similarly denied the right to make even the most trivial decisions on behalf of their children.

As the HRW report details, there’s the almost criminally mislabeled institution called the Permanent Council for Scientific Research and Legal Opinions (CRLO), whose legal opinions on interpretation of religious statements are often implemented as law. When asked about women’s employment, they said

God Almighty … commended women to remain in their homes. Their presence in the public is the main contributing factor to the spread of fitna [strife]. Yes, the Shari’ah permits women to leave their home only when necessary, provided that they wear hijab and avoid all suspicious situations. However, the general rule is that they should remain at home.

If you have the time, and are not aware of the extent, I strongly suggest you go through the entire report. It summarizes the absolutely pathetic “rights” of women, and how truly messed up the situation is.

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Written by parseval

April 21, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Posted in politics, religion

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