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14,000 Saudi women call on government to end male guardianship in ultra-conservative kingdom


#سعوديات_نطالب_باسقاط_الولايه79 عند باب الديوان الملكي لتسليم الخطاب pic.twitter.com/7ZVBemNp2a — عزيزة محمد اليوسف (@azizayousef) September 26, 2016 A Saudi woman has delivered a petition to the government calling for an end to the Gulf kingdom’s male guardianship system. The petition has been signed by more than 14,000 Saudi women. Women face severe restrictions in the ultra-conservative nation where – despite being ...

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Saudi Women Have Had Enough of Men Saying No


A few months ago, I was lucky enough to meet a young Saudi woman—we’ll call her Zahra. Zahra was smart, eloquent, and funny. She wanted to pursue a degree outside Saudi Arabia in a field not yet available in her country. But, Zahra said, her father, her male guardian, told her “no.” When Zahra’s sister asked to travel abroad to ...

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Wife of Raif Badawi, Imprisoned Saudi Blogger, Feels Pain From Afar


The story of how Ensaf Haidar first encountered her husband, Raif Badawi, is an unusual version of “meeting cute.” In 2000, Ms. Haidar was a cloistered young woman studying the Quran in a small town in Saudi Arabia, where she lived with her family and rarely interacted with men. It all started with an accidental meeting. Ms. Haidar was using ...

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Nine things women can’t do in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, especially with regards to protecting women, has often been called into question. Although women’s rights have been incrementally extended in recent years – they were allowed to vote in municipal elections for the first time last year – their actions are still severely restricted. In a country where a woman cannot even open a bank ...

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Saudi Arabia carries out 99th execution of the year


Saudi authorities carried out the 99th execution of the 2016 in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, putting a man to death for murder. Hassan bin Mubarak al-Amri was convicted of stabbing to death fellow Saudi Jahran al-Issa following a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency. He was executed in the southwestern coastal city ...

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Demand for women notaries on the rise


RIYADH — The demand for women lawyers working as notaries public is rising with the recent announcement by Minister of Justice Waleed Al-Samaani to open new sections exclusively for women in the ministry. Lawyer Bayan Zahran said appointing women lawyers as notaries will improve the quality of services and raise civil rights awareness in the community. “Women are one half ...

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Hotel for single women


SOME opinion writers say the government works for the overall progress of the society exceeding people’s expectations while there are others who believe that the government has yet to adopt vital decisions to enhance progress and prosperity of people, especially women. The womenfolk would not be able to have a normal life except after the government takes sovereign decisions to ...

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Waleed Abulkhair sits in a Saudi jail for speaking out


Javier El-Hage and Celine Assaf Boustani are lawyers at the Human Rights Foundation. This week marked two years since a Saudi Arabian kangaroo court sentenced human rights lawyer Waleed Abulkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion.” Abulkhair, 37, is one of the most visible representatives of Saudi Arabia’s beleaguered civil society. In 2008, he organized a 48-hour ...

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Saudi Arabia Has No Place on the U.N. Human Rights Council


Ten years since it was first created, the UN Human Rights Council is facing a stark moment of truth. The credibility of the world’s top human rights body, which was set up to ensure that it is able to effectively address human rights violations without being undermined by geopolitics and competing national interests, is being called into question because of ...

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Saudi Arabian Social Justice Human Rights Lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair Continues to Fight for Social Justice from Prison


Waleed Abu al-Khair began to practice law in Saudi Arabia in 2007. He quickly earned an international reputation as one of the most respected human rights lawyers in one of the world’s most repressive countries. Within a year he joined in a high profile critique of the ruling monarchy. He repeatedly and openly advocated for democracy. He controversially defended the ...

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