Thursday, December 10, 2015

Saudi Arabia Holds a Women's Conference without a Female in Sight

How would men in Arabic countries feel if women held a conference on men's rights and men were not in the room? How would men feel if women passed laws saying men could not drive or leave the country without a female present? How would men react if women decided men could ride a motorcycle or bike only if fully veiled and accompanied by a male relative?

Taken in 2012, but resurfacing and going viral currently, a picture of a women's rights conference in Saudi Arabia is a wonderful example of laws in Arabic countries. No where is there a woman in sight.

Instead, row upon row of men in traditional keffiyeh and white thobes and one single Westerner in a flannel shirt appear. The conference was reportedly held at the University of Qassim and was apparently attended by representatives of 15 countries.

According to the article, "Religious police in the Gulf Kingdom which is governed by Sharia Law only recently lifted a ban on females riding motorbikes and bicycles – as long as they wear the full-length veil and are accompanied by a male relative. It is illegal for Saudi women to travel abroad without male accompaniment. They may only do so if their guardian agrees by signing a document know as a 'yellow sheet' at an airport or border crossing."