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Friday, August 31, 2007

In Saudi Arabia, 28-year old women can't run away from home

Another strange story that illustrates the bizarre misogyny in Saudi Arabia:
Following negotiations between the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) in Jeddah and the Family Protection Committee at the Makkah region’s Social Affairs Department, six sisters, who had run away from their drug addict father in Riyadh, were given a women’s shelter in Jeddah on Wednesday night.

The girls had previously run away from their drug addict father and stayed at a shelter in Riyadh.

They then ran away from the shelter in Riyadh and arrived in Jeddah looking for help from their maternal uncle.

The father of the six sisters, the eldest of which is 28, pressured their uncle to send his daughters back to Riyadh. Fearing a return to Riyadh, the girls ran away from their uncle’s house and sought help from the NSHR. The society called the Social Affairs Department in the Makkah Region and reported that the girls allege they were sexually harassed.

“The girls now are considered to be runaways — such cases get transferred to the police and the general prosecution to check their claims. They then get transferred to shelter homes in their own region,” said Saeed Al-Ghamdi, general director of the Social Affairs Department in the Makkah Region.

“Until now we have no proof of abuse. We only have what the girls have said. We still have to check their father’s case,” he said.

So girls who are being sexually abused can only leave their abusers' homes if they can prove abuse, and of course the father's word is worth far more than six sisters.

And the 28-year old is simply not allowed to live alone and take care of her sisters in Saudi Arabia - such a solution is so far beyond possibility that it is not even entertained. Even she will be forced to return to her abusive father's home if he claims that he never touched her!

Which means that in Saudi Arabia, women are legally children no matter how old they are until they get married.

Notice also how the Arab News tastefully waters down sexual abuse to be merely "alleged sexual harrassment." By the Western definition of sexual harassment, every single female in Saudi Arabia is being harrassed. It is obvious that here we are talking about a father who is using his daughters for his own perverted gratification, and it is equally obvious that he can easily get away with it, because the testimony of the girls are almost automatically discounted.

What a sick, twisted society.