Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested an unidentified man for allegedly conspiring against the notorious male guardianship system in the ultra-conservative kingdom, which allows men to control almost every element of their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters’ lives.
The Gulf country, widely known for its human rights abuse and unique driving ban on women, has witnessed a sudden public interest in the guardianship debate, which has inspired several social media campaigns over the last few months.
As the Okaz Daily reports, the police caught the man while he was putting up posters on mosques in Al-Hasa, calling for an end to gender inequality and injustice faced by Saudi women. The court convicted the activist for “inciting to end guardianship of women” citing the statements he posted on Twitter and in public posters.
The defendant reportedly admitted to launching the “awareness campaign” after he found some of his “female relatives were facing injustice at the hands of their families”
He is also facing 30,000 riyals ($8,000) in fine.
While a huge number of Saudis criticize those who demand equal rights (or any kind of rights, really) for women, there are scores who support the campaign to end the male guardianship.
#???_??????_???_?????_???????— ?? (@Reem_Mohammad) December 27, 2016
You can't imprison an idea. It's out there and you cannot stop it now.
Good luck idiots ??
Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch released a report titled “Boxed In: Women and Saudi Arabia’s Male Guardianship System,” describing the system as “most significant impediment to realizing women’s rights in the country, effectively rendering adult women legal minors who cannot make key decisions for themselves.”
“Until the guardianship system is removed entirely, Saudi Arabia will remain in violation of its human rights obligations and unable to realize its Vision 2030, the country’s “vision for the future,” that declares women—half of the country’s population—to be a “great asset” whose talents will be developed for the good of the country’s society and economy,” read the report.