Empowering Discussions

Will Saudi Arabia Become a Beacon of Hope for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights?

While volunteering at a local school garden this week I was talking about sports to one of the teachers. She mentioned that when she was in school Title IX had not passed and there were no girls sports teams. She shared her experience on trying out for the swim team. Despite being a certified life guard and coaching a swim class, when she asked to try out she was told that “the girls who can swim good will be timing the boys”. That was their idea of allowing girls in sports. We’ve come a long way in the U.S. and many other countries, but there are still many places in our world where women are deemed unequal to their male counterparts.

Like me you’ve heard about the ridiculous restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia. They can’t drive cars, must be covered from head to toe, and aren’t supposed to even leave the house without permission from a male relative. In 2011 Manal al-Sharif created an activism campaign that got women outdoors and driving cars despite the law forbidding them, but change has been slow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manal_al-Sharif.

Women have become deemed second class citizens compared to men! Thankfully though there are bright spots amidst the oppression. Co-Education has a foot in the door of equality at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST)  www.kaust.edu.sa

Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel is an outspoken activist for equal women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

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