Saudi Arabia holds women's right conference without a single woman attendence
Sept.22, Riyadh: A picture of a conference in Saudi Arabia on the topic of 'women in society' – attended by men only – has gone viral in social media.
The picture was traced back to Beladalorb.com, and was published in Saudi newspaper Okaz in 2012. The picture features row upon row of men in traditional keffiyeh and white thobes. A single Westerner in a flannel shirt is the only person breaking up an otherwise uniform sea of what appear to be Arab men.
Representative from 15 countries were participated the conference, which was reportedly held at the University of Qassim.
Religious police in the Gulf Kingdom which is governed by Sharia Law only recently lifted a ban on females riding motorbikes and bicycles – as long as they wear the full-length veil and are accompanied by a male relative.
It is illegal for Saudi women to travel abroad without male accompaniment. They may only do so if their guardian agrees by signing a document know as a 'yellow sheet' at an airport or border crossing.
In November 2012 it emerged women were being electronically monitored with authorities using SMS to track them and inform their husbands of their whereabouts. And it was only in 2011 that women were given the right to vote and run for office in municipal elections in 2015.
The Oslo Times