On December 4, 2013 the English language daily the Arab News is reporting that the Saudi Human Rights Commission will be discussing issues related to the rights of women including the driving issue. A link to the story is here, and the text is below. The story is by P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has instructed
authorities to study some 72 proposals made by the Human Rights
Commission (HRC) on various social issues, including the granting of
citizenship to the children of Saudi women married to foreigners, said
Ibrahim Al-Sheddi, a spokesman for the HRC.
“Our proposals have also
covered the issue of male relatives exploiting their authority on
women,” the spokesman said, while emphasizing women’s right to movement
and transport to meet their daily requirements and to reach places of
work, referring to women driving.
He said the proposals were made on the basis of more than 400 complaints received by the HRC during the past five years.
its report presented to King Abdullah, the HRC pointed out that many
women were being wronged by their husbands, fathers and brothers who
wanted to control their freedoms and usurp their wealth.
said that the existing law for protection against violence covers
prevention of harassment. He disclosed that a new law to prevent
violence against children would be issued soon.
“I think this is a
welcome move. Finally, a Saudi rights institution is acknowledging the
difficulties, obstacles and discrimination women face in their life on a
daily basis under the male guardianship system, which always puts them
at a disadvantage and makes them vulnerable,” Maha Akeel, a senior Saudi
journalist, told Arab News.
The fact that the HRC also addressed
the issue of women driving is courageous considering the vicious
campaign and vehement objections by members of society, she said.
issue of children’s citizenship is a major problem for many families,”
Akeel said. “I hope the issues raised by the HRC are taken seriously by
authorities in order to find quick and viable solutions.”