Missing From Saudi Arabia's Women's Rights Conference: Women

Saudi men talk women's issues without women present.

Only men in attendance at Saudi Arabia women's rights conference

An image of last year’s Saudi Arabia conference on the topic of “Women in Society” without a single woman is storming the web. The annual conference, held at the University of Qassim, sets the standard for progress in Saudi Arabia. With a country firmly governed by sharia law and with zero women having yet to attend or even speak at the summit, the bar remains low.

Representatives from more than 15 countries attended the event. The picture was originally published by the Saudi newspaper Okaz in 2012. The image resurfaced in the French-speaking press earlier this week.

Male-dominated conferences promoting gender equality are becoming more frequent in society’s attempt to solve gender discrimination. In January, the U.N.-supported “Barbershop Conference” in New York invited women to attend, but they were also barred from certain sessions.

Do governments really think the answer to gender inequality is not allowing women a seat at the table?


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