How some Saudi women are going to school, working, and running for office to protest the country’s sexist guardianship system and make the Kingdom better for women

Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

  • Saudi Arabia enforces a strict interpretation of Islamic law and has a female “guardianship system.”
  • Under this system, Saudi women must get permission from male chaperones to travel, study, and marry. Domestic abuse is difficult to report and rarely punished.
  • What is often lost in news coverage of Saudi Arabia, says Alainna Liloia a Ph.D. Student at the University of Arizona, is that Saudi women are much more than mere victims.
  • Saudi women attend school, work as journalists and teachers, scuba dive, meet friends for coffee — and, increasingly, defy the law to expand women’s rights, says Liloia.

Saudi Arabia is a notoriously difficult place to be a woman.

The kingdom enforces a strict interpretation of Islamic law that sees the separation of men and women as a defining aspect of an Islamic society. It also puts men in charge of their female relatives. Under this “guardianship system,” as it’s known, Saudi women must get permission from male chaperones to travel, study, and marry. Domestic abuse is difficult to report and rarely punished.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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