I read somewhere that people only rise up to break the bonds of oppression once they have been given a few rights they didn’t have before.
The first taste of freedom, albeit limited, makes them hungry for more.
And that certainly seems to be the case in Saudi Arabia where women were for the first time granted a few rights in 2009 that they didn’t have before, such as the right to occupy certain positions and to choose their professions without the opproval of their guardians.
This has led Saudi women to want to break all, not just some, of the shackles of oppression that have made their lives a misery.
Saudi women still suffer many social violations within their families, mainly from their male guardians, whether their husbands, fathers or brothers. These violations include physical assault, preventing them from getting married so that the guardian can continue to take the women’s salary if she is employed, or taking over their inheritance in case of the father’s death. Women are also given a hard time when visiting governmental departments if they are not accompanied by a male figure. Other violations in the workplace include sexual harassment and extortion from their bosses.
Saudi women are not just calling for the end of male guardianship in marriage contracts or the transfer of guardianship from one abusive husband or oppressive father to another better man who could be a brother or uncle, like it was for women a few years ago in some Saudi courts.
In fact, women are calling for dropping all forms of supervision and control from brothers, fathers or grandfathers as guardianship limits women’s freedom and willpower.