Friday, May 27, 2011

Mafi Mahram

screen shot taken from CNN website
caption: "Women outside an election center in Jeddah* on April 23 making a symbolic plea to register."

A friend sent me an interesting article a few weeks ago about the "Saudi Women Revolution". As we speak, a few daring women in the Kingdom are pushing to end chauvinistic laws--such as ending male guardianship. This male guardian, or 'mahram', is a husband, father, brother, or son. His permission is required to travel, get health care, enroll in school, apply for a job, etc., etc., etc. (!!!!!) In addition to mafi mahram, they want to reverse discrimination in voting, driving, divorce, and marriage.

I admit to being a bit skeptical that they will actually override Saudi's deep-rooted culture and staunch conservatism, however--I find it extremely encouraging to see local women making a stand. What started as a Facebook page has become a core group of women brave enough to sign their names to petitions, brave enough to show up at voting centers asking for the right to vote, and brave enough to "go to the king himself."

I respect them for the risks they're taking as they fight for the basic rights and freedoms that I so completely take for granted. I also wish them every success and heaps of perseverance. I have a feeling they'll need it as "We will never stop fighting for our rights because it's time for change. "

Exciting times!

*In just a few months, Jeddah will be home!

P.S. You can follow along by reading more from Kuwaiti journalist & blogger, Mona Kareem. I suggest starting with this post.

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