Recently, there has been controversy in the Saudi media about the meaning of feminism and its place in Saudi society. Imagine it being a form of terrorism to attend a women’s rights conference in Switzerland. The wave of feminism has hit Saudi Arabia as well and it has cleaned a lot from the shore of women. The crimes Ms. Hathloul has committed are against a repressive, authoritarian state. ET on Tuesday. that in turn allowed women to drive nation wide. America cannot be a credible human rights voice if we keep looking the other way. Her husband, Saudi stand-up comedian Fahad al-Butairi, was also arrested in 2018 and remains in prison. Your email address will not be published. In October of 2013, on her return to Saudi Arabia, she drove her father’s car home from the airport, defying the then ban on women driving. In 2009 the city of Riyadh became the capital of Saudi Arabia The population as of July 2011 was at 26.1 million, 20.5 million being Saudis and 5.6 being foreign nationals. The Biden Administration must reset our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Channel 4 News: “Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul faces trial in terrorism court”, Filed Under: Featured, Feminism, Saudi Arabia, women, Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. Abu-Lughod, Lila. Historicizing the question of women’s oppression in Saudi Arabia requires critiquing and doing away with two approaches: dismissive universality and cultural reductionism, the former being an insufficient, inappropriate, and – to many women in Saudi Arabia – insulting response to the latter. Both the public and private spheres within Saudi Arabia inherently uphold male dominanc e through the strict observation of the Islamic authoritarian state. She has been imprisoned for two years, during which she was allegedly tortured and subjected to sexual abuse. Something substantially less than Gloria Steinem-style second wave feminism. Saudi government has followed the steps of modernization which has eased some of their laws regarding women. It really should be pointed out that there is nothing in Islam that forbids women to drive, and all the 900 million Muslim women have all along driven except in Saudi Arabia. Juan Cole. The position of women in Saudi Arabia is often referred to as "gender apartheid." As the modernization of Saudi Arabia spreads, and as women gain exposure to the western definition of feminism, more are agreeing with said view in the feminist fight for rights (House, Karen Elliot). Saudi Arabia is commonly known for its strict moral values and customs regarding religion and women. Ms. Hathloul has a B.A. This week, feminism in Saudi Arabia was declared to be a crime punishable by imprisonment and lashing. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s last absolute monarchies, which practices beheadings and stonings (neither punishment is in the Qur’an, which is supposedly the constitution of the Saudi state). In a historic win for the Saudi Arabian feminist movement, women in Saudi Arabia have won the right to drive. Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - Al Jazeera points to the call by Senator Chris Murphy addressed to the incoming Biden administration urging a review of US ties with Saudi Arabia, given the kingdom's miserable human rights record, including its mistreatment of feminist dissident Lujjain Hathloul, 31. “This arrest campaign is an arrest campaign against feminism in Saudi,” said one female activist who knows some of those detained. She wanted to be able to travel without her father’s, or husband’s permission. A revolution inspired solely by Anglophone feminism, whether championed by an Arab/Muslim woman or otherwise, is not a sisterhood, it is an exclusionary missionary bordering on … Bin Salman is so worried about someone else getting credit for the reforms, however, that he seems determined to send Lujjain to the gallows for daring speak up in the first place. Saudi Arabia's government has deleted a video in which it called feminism an "extremist idea," following a backlash. Personal checks should be made out to Juan Cole and sent to me at: Juan Cole Recently-granted liberties include official permission to drive cars and ride bikes, attend sporting events and sit among men in stadium stands as well as attend the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia… Among the factors that define rights for women in Saudi Arabia are government laws, the Hanbali and Wahhabi schools of Sunni Islam, and traditional customs of the Arabian Peninsula. wearing niqabs, driving motorcycles and bumper cars, You Aren’t Always Welcome, But You’re Needed: Campus Activism & Student Government, Beyond Title IX: Centering Anti-Racism in Violence Prevention in Education. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. She posted the incident to social media, causing the Saudi police to haul her father in for questioning. Feminism: Saudi Arabia king Abdul Aziz Saudi Arabia covers 2,149,690 sq . In a tweet on Tuesday, the Saudi Human Rights Commission confirmed that feminism was not criminalized in Saudi Arabia and that the Kingdom accorded the greatest importance to … According to Saudi Arabians who are against the liberalization of women in the country, feminist activists are a way through which the West targets to eventually have control over the culture in Saudi Arabia. P. O. Gender discrimination is a global conflict but it is prevalently seen in Saudi Arabia. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Ms. Hathloul was produced in court on Wednesday. On the Feminist Theory Website. https://t.co/XqD90YgP94, — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 26, 2020. The use of the word feminism might be problematic in trying to describe women’s movement in Saudi Arabia because of historical and social factors associated with the feminist movement. She spent a year under those conditions before even being first brought to an ordinary criminal court in March, 2019. In a royal decree issued Tuesday, the Saudi Arabian monarchy announced that the ban preventing women from driving will be lifted. Box 4218, The video was deleted at around 5:30 a.m. The Saudi state security agency’s video announcement defined feminism … Ms. Drake details how daily life for women and men is complicated and disabled by the obsession with sex in Saudi Arabia. Feminism is a movement calling for women rights, hoping to achieve equality between men and women socially, politically and economically. Hyper-Patriarchal Saudi Arabia Equates Mild Feminism With Terrorism, as Sen. Murphy Calls on Biden To Review Ties With Kingdom. Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Al Jazeera points to the call by Senator Chris Murphy addressed to the incoming Biden administration urging a review of US ties with Saudi Arabia, given the kingdom’s miserable human rights record, including its mistreatment of feminist dissident Lujjain Hathloul, 31. For instance, all skin, except for the hands and face, must be concealed while in public. In late 2014 she was arrested trying to drive over to the United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia with an Emirati driver’s license, which she says was not illegal (UAE citizens with driver’s licenses can drive in Saudi Arabia). Women in Saudi Arabia are labeled as an inferior gender in their culture due to strict regulations in female dress. The sinister role of the United Arab Emirates here should not be forgotten. Moving from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment. “Even the men who were arrested, they were with us.” At … She stands accused of “communicating with foreign parties.” She was arrested in 2018 in the United Arab Emirates on returning from an international conference in Geneva on discrimination against women, which is apparently the “foreign parties” being referred to. by. Ms. Hathloul has been on a hunger strike to protest her imprisonment. The annual Observers might argue that feminist movements in Saudi Arabia have gained traction and that imprisoning women and treating them so brutally has … The literature abounds with many researches and articles that are written in a way that portray the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the poster child of … Feminism is the only analytical lens which conveys the depth of female oppression under the essentially patriarchal society in Saudi Arabia. Her sister Lina says that this Wednesday, she was weak and shaking uncontrollably, as she learned she would be remanded to the court that deals with terrorism. Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2548 Advocating for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is now considered terrorism. Saudi Arabia: Categorizing feminism, atheism, homosexuality as crimes exposes the Kingdom’s dangerous intolerance 12 November 2019, 17:17 UTC. Under Sharia law, women have very few rights regarding public dress. Her crime? The UAE then turned her over to the Saudi police. There is nothing in Islam that forbids women to drive, and all the 900 million Muslim women have all along driven except in Saudi Arabia. While cultural reductionism is a decisively anti-feminist position, dismissive universality can be – or is – an impediment to international solidarity. Information on feminism in Saudi Arabia. A committee has been assembled to determine how the lifting of … Feminism is a movement that developed out of Western context and discourse, therefore it might not properly describe what is taking place in Saudi Arabia. mi.) Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook Page, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires. Women in Saudi Arabia constituted 13% of the country's native workforce as of 2015. Bibliography. She wanted to be able to drive. In 2019, 34.4% of the native workforce of Saudi Arabia were women. She joined the women’s driving protests on several other occasions. The growing closeness between China and Saudi Arabia sheds some light on similar structural features and sociopolitical trends that have emerged in both countries, particularly the rise of parallel feminist … The Saudi press is calling her and her family “traitors.”. The use of the word feminism might be problematic in trying to describe women’s movement in Saudi Arabia because of historical and social factors associated with the feminist movement. USA Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. She taught there at the opening of medical schools for women, in 1981-82, and her experience reveals things that the view from afar cannot comprehend: the daily mangling of life when it takes the time of two people for any woman to make any transaction. (Remember, make the checks out to “Juan Cole” or they can’t be cashed). (829,995 sq. km. Feminism in Saudi Arabia: Feminists on Other Sites: Soraya Altorki. Al Jazeera points to the call by Senator Chris Murphy addressed to the incoming Biden administration urging a review of US ties with Saudi Arabia, given the … Some of the goals she advocated have actually been achieved under the de facto rule of crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, though the ultra-patriarchal guardianship system has only been slightly loosened. However, feminist activists consider their stand against the demeaning Saudi Arabian culture as a move to liberate the women in the country. Saudi Arabian feminism may not look like Western feminism, but it is just as powerful and focuses on systemic, structural change that allows women to both practice Islam as they see fit and fight for their place within Saudi society. Parallels between Feminist Movements in Saudi Arabia and China. Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion. [email protected] She had read out in a subdued voice a four-page defense of herself, according to another sister, Alia. 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