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Real war on women: Saudi women demand end to male control over them

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Ashe Schow,War on Women,Gender Issues,Saudi Arabia

A group of 25 female activists from Saudi Arabia have petitioned the country's government to end the "absolute authority" of men over women.

In Saudi Arabia, women are forbidden from working, traveling, or even obtaining identification unless a male guardian gives them permission. Women are also forbidden from driving.

The group of women, including some university professors, sent the petition in honor of International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8.

“This petition renews our demands as women,” activist Azizah al Yousif said. “We want our issues to be put on the top of the Council’s priority list.”

Al Yousif also said that two members of the Saudi Arabian Shura Council agreed to address some of the points in the petition.

The activists also want women to receive medical treatment (some surgeries are forbidden), file a lawsuit and be released from prison without a male guardian’s permission. The activists also want protections from workplace discrimination and harassment.

The petition also seeks to give women a defense from domestic violence by granting them the right to self-determination. The petition also wants to limit the ability of male guardians to prevent marriages or force minors to marry or divorce.

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