Yes, yes, it is somewhat oxymoronic to see Saudi Arabia and “women’s rights conference” in the same sentence, but that’s the topsy-turvy world in which we live.
In fact, just this past November, Saudi Arabia was elected to a 3-year term on the UN’s Human Rights Council overseeing…women’s rights!
Just to review, among other things, Saudi women cannot:
> Travel without male accompaniment
> Wear make-up or clothing that “shows off their beauty”
> Interact with men in public
> Compete freely in sports
> Try on clothes when shopping
But hey! It makes perfect sense for Saudi Arabia to champion women’s rights since…they have basically none in that country!
In 2012, the University of Qassim, one of the largest in the kingdom, hosted one of the largest women’s rights conferences in the Arab world. With the theme of “Women in Society,” the conference was meant to highlight tolerance and progress in the region. Delegates and speakers from more than 15 countries attended.
However, there were no women in attendance.
— Belinda Goldsmith (@BeeGoldsmith) February 4, 2015
Saudi women are beginning to lift their voices however,
A video released last month is going viral.
CNN reports, A pop song that delivers a political and cultural message about women in Saudi Arabia has racked up more than 2.5 million views on YouTube since it premiered online last month.
Hwages, loosely translated as “concerns,” features a group of young women covered from head-to-toe and wearing sneakers while skateboarding, riding scooters, and dancing.
The women in the video clip sing, “if only God would rid us of men” and “May men go extinct, they cause us to have mental illnesses.”
Don’t hold back; tell us how you REALLY feel. But gosh, if that’s truly how Saudi women feel, no wonder the men won’t let them out of the house. (They better lock away the kitchen knives too.)
It sure is great we have a stellar organization like the United Nations looking out for women!
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]