March 24, 2009 |
A verbal row between reformers and hard-liners is raging in Saudi Arabia, as the monarchy's recent cautious steps toward modernizing the ultraconservative nation have ruffled the feathers of some uncompromising clerics. On Sunday, a group of hard-line clerics exhorted authorities to ban women from appearing on television or in newspapers or magazines. On the same day, in an unusually bold move, Saudi human rights groups criticized the country's religious police, who enjoy wide powers to enforce adherence to the strict mores of the Wahhabi sect of Islam.
October 26, 2013 |
CAIRO - Some dared to drive. Others stayed home, but promised to take to the roads another day. Calls for a nationwide “drive-in” to protest Saudi Arabia's de facto ban on women driving were softened at the eleventh hour by organizers, who said Saudi Arabian authorities threatened them with serious consequences if they drove on Saturday. Activists urged female would-be motorists to instead make it an ongoing campaign, and to get behind the wheel whenever they could. They said about 60 women altogether reported they had driven in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with more than a dozen uploading videos of themselves doing so. Even on a smaller scale than originally envisioned, it was the year's biggest action against the restriction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 1990 |
The crisis in the Persian Gulf may be a disguised blessing for women in the Middle East, where strict cultural and religious norms generally relegate them to traditional, subservient roles. After the Iraqi invasion, Kuwaiti women took to the streets, staging public demonstrations and providing secret relief to resisters. Iraqi women have been recruited into the military. A small group of Saudi Arabian women publicly defied the law to drive their own cars.
November 18, 1990 |
The images from the sands of Saudi Arabia offer a stark contrast: American servicewomen work in fatigues, while Saudi women are glimpsed briefly, shrouded head to toe in the veil. While the Americans were driving heavy equipment, a group of some 40 Saudi women staged a protest--dismissing their drivers and piloting their luxury cars through the streets of downtown Riyadh. Their demand? The right to drive, forbidden to women in their country.
April 19, 2005 |
When Saudi Arabia this year held municipal elections for the first time in four decades, women were barred from voting or running for office. In a 4,500-word essay published in the (London) Guardian, feminist author Natasha Walter concluded recently that, "Since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, there is no place in the world where women are more systematically deprived of freedom than they are in Saudi Arabia."
October 27, 2002 |
The Saudi woman, swathed in black with only her eyes showing, held up a lacy orange bra and asked the salesman in a whisper if he had her size. "Did you say 36C?" the man replied, loudly enough for other customers to hear. "Are you sure you don't need a bigger size?" "It was 36C in the past," said the woman. "Well, the past changes," responded the salesman. It's not the kind of exchange one might expect in Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are segregated by an unwritten but stringent code.
March 22, 2003 |
Emotions spilled into the streets of several Arab capitals Friday, with antiwar protesters in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan and Kuwait attacking police and shouting anti-American slogans. In the Yemeni capital, Sana, gunfire erupted at a protest outside the U.S. Embassy, killing at least two people. In Cairo, as many as 40,000 demonstrators turned out, burning U.S.
September 19, 2005 |
Businesswoman Madawi Hassoun has signed up as the first woman in this ultraconservative Islamic kingdom to run in an election. Her candidacy for a Jidda chamber of commerce board comes after the Saudi government intervened to allow women to vote and run in the contest. "Saudi women candidates will prove that they are capable of being members of the chamber while at the same time adhering to religious rules, customs and traditions that govern our society," Hassoun said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 1990
I read the article about Saudi women being denied the right to drive (Part A, Nov. 15). It is amazing to me that we are sending 400,000-plus Americans to risk their lives in defense of people who have such prejudices. Your article discusses the Saudis' concerns about "contamination" by U.S. soldiers. I say, let them be contaminated by their Muslim brothers and sisters from Iraq. Bring our guys home now. CHRIS SHOCKMAN, Culver City