EDITOR’S NOTE: Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world on women’s rights and equality, decided to show the world how “open and accepting” they’ve become. So they created a “girl’s council” to discuss “women’s issues”. However, at the kick-off meeting, 13 men controlled the stage, with the women sequestered in a room and only allowed to give input via a video link when the men said it was ok to do so. Ahh, Islam.
It was meant to be an initiative to show the world the kingdom had moved on from oppressing women’s rights, but when the Qassim Girls’ Council was formed, the authorities appeared to have omitted a key ingredient at the launch event.
Instead 13 men introduced the initiative on stage, while it was reported the women were kept out of site in another room and contributed via video link. The picture of the group of men on stage has sparked a wave of criticism online.
— Rana H. (@RanaHarbi) March 13, 2017
‘In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls,’he said, according to the BBC.
Rana Harbi posted the picture with the caption: ‘This is not a joke. I repeat, not a joke. The first meeting of the first “Girls Council” in Saudi Arabia.’
Fellow writer did the same with a caption reading: ‘Satire? Comedy? No. ‘This is actually happening: The very first meeting of the first “Girls Council” in Saudi Arabia… with ZERO girls.’
Jonathan Nicholas poked fun at Saudi Arabia’s track record of women’s rights, by saying: ‘Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia the Qassim Girls Council meets again to discuss women’s issues.
‘Too important for women to be involved obviously.’
A Twitter user calling himself Maytham joked: ‘Meeting of Qassim Girls Council Saudi Arabia.
‘I did not know that Saudi girls have beards.
‘Gillette can make lots of business there.’
The council is meant to be chaired by Princess Abir bint Salman, the prince’s wife, but she does not feature in any of the photographs.
Saudi Arabia, which has strict segregation laws regarding unrelated men and women, is aiming for a major boost in female employment in the conservative Islamic kingdom but women need not go to an office, the labour ministry said on Monday. source