Not much has changed in the Arabian peninsula since the time of the Muslim’s prophet Mohamed, Wajiha Al-Huweidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, is trying her best to change all that. In an interview aired on Hurra TV on May 26, 2007, (translated by MEMRI) Wajiha Al-Huweidar states:
society is based on masters and slaves, or, to be more precise, masters and maids, because the masters are the men, and the slaves are the women.
The ownership of a woman is passed from one man to another. Ownership of the woman is passed from the father or the brother to another man, the husband. the women is merely a piece of merchandise, which is passed over to someone else – her guardian. How do you recognize a maid or a slave? The decision making is out of her hands. All the decisions are made by the master. Women today are not allowed to make any kind of decision – not about marriage, work, studies, medical treatment, leaving the house, or traveling.
I believe that in general, for the Saudi woman, every day is a new battle. She needs to find ways to live on the face of this earth without colliding with the law, with men, with society, with the religious clerics, or with the political establishment. She is besieged. There are five types of shackles, or jails, for the woman – if she manages to escape one, she might enter another. The first is the tribe, then comes the family, then the religious institutions, the political establishment, and finally, society. Wherever you go, you encounter a battle. What are you to do? Within every Saudi woman, there is a Scheherazade. Imagine Scheherazade trying every night to stay alive until the next night. That’s how I see the Saudi woman. Some might say that I am exaggerating, but…
This brave Saudi women’s rights activist is up against a mountain of opposition, for what she is advocating is nothing short of revolutionizing the entire Saudi kingdom that is deeply entrenched in the full subjugation of its women in all sectors of its society. I am not talking about just Saudi women, but any women (Muslim or otherwise) that enters “the Kingdom”.
So entrenched is this mind set, that the practice of forced servitude (slavery) is imported into countries where Saudis take up residence. I wish Wajiha Al-Huweidar success. *L* KGS