Sunday, 28 November 2010
Despite the appalling state of women's rights in Saudi Arabia, the biggest challenge women face in the conservative monarchy is male guardianship over women. Women cannot travel, gain admittance to a public hospital, live independently or "even buy a phone" without the guardianship and consent of a "mahram."
Most importantly for single women, they cannot marry without the consent of their guardians. Nevertheless, more women are challenging their guardians in court for "purposefuly turning down marriage proposals" and "forcibly keeping their daughters and sisters single" - a practice known as adhl.
From their Cairo Office, the Associated Press reports: the 42-year-old Saudi surgeon remains single, against her will, while her hefty salary keeps going directly to her father's bank account.