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POLITICS: Western Influence Improving Women's Status In Saudi Arabia

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posted on Feb, 24 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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Saudia Arabia has announce that it intends to allow women to hold public office and even vote in upcoming elections. These revelations where a part of conference held between Saudi Arabia and England. This is a historic shift in position for the fundamentalist Islamic nation who has been listed for many years as an abuser of women's rights.
 



www.arabnews.com
In his keynote address, Prince Saud said the role of Saudi women was changing rapidly. “Our educational reforms have created a new generation of highly educated and professionally trained Saudi women who are acquiring their rightful position in Saudi society. I am proud to mention here that this year we shall have women working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the first time,” he said.

Prince Saud refuted allegations that Saudi Arabia was promoting terrorism. “Saudi Arabia is a deeply devout society. Like other societies, we have our share of an extremist minority. Uninformed Western perception, however, has made the exception in our society the rule.”


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The changing face of Saudi Arabia is a testament to the effectiveness of US and British Policy toward the Saudis. The much maligned relationship that these western nations have maintained has had the effect of initiating reform within the heart of Islam. Saudi Arabia is the spiritual center of Islam and it could be said that for them to begin recognizing women's rights is akin to Israel putting pork on the Kosher menu. This "evolution of the kingdom" is being accomplished without CIA covert ops, without smart bombs, and without open hostilities. Rather it is being accomplished via friendly relations with the country.

I would not go so far as to say that our relationship with the Saudis is a picture of human advancement and equality, far from it. The kingdom is still rife with inequality and injustice, but it is moving in the right direction. Would that we could find ways to transform Iran and Korea in like fashion. I believe this is what President Clinton had in mind when he bribed the N. Koreans into suspending their nuclear program. Unfortunately not all dictators have the best interests of their people at heart. I am not sure that Prince Faud's motives are pure and altruistic in this matter but the results are the same.

With the heart of Islam moving toward women's rights, perhaps women will gain some measure of power within the Islamic world and bring a motherly tollerance into their social and political landscape. Could this be the beginning of the end for Islamic Fascism? I hope so. It certainly is a step in the right direction.




posted on Feb, 24 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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While the Saudi government may be on board with this - what of the rank and file Saudis themselves? Will these women become the targets of hardliners and extremists? As a woman, I would like nothing more than to see these women given equal access and equal rights, but without the promise of protection - how many women will step forward?

I agree this is a step in the right direction and the beginning of true reforms within Saudi Arabia. I just want the royal family to go out of their way to protect the women that will pave way into a new era.

B.



posted on Feb, 24 2005 @ 05:41 PM
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While the Saudi government may be on board with this - what of the rank and file Saudis themselves?


Well when I lived over there the "Rank and File" Saudi's were pretty cool, a lot of them according to my dad had quite a lot of liberal idea's and western tastes(like Beatles Music which had just arrived in the 80s ... I'm not joking btw) It all comes down to the various factions within the Saudi Gov't. There is literally two different authorities over there, the Official authority which controlls the Army and Police and then the Religous Fundamentalists with thier "Morality Police". The Morality Police outnumber regular police 3 to 1. There are alot of entrenched interests, but I see this as a good sign that things may be changing. Allthough if # hits the fan I will not be surprised one bit.



posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 10:47 PM
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It looks as though the Saudis are going to make good on their promises. Here is an update article on the first appointments of women to positions of authority. Link to story



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