Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saudi women's advocacy group folds

From the Arab News:
A proposal to establish a first-of-its-kind organization to support women’s rights in Saudi Arabia has been dropped shattering the hopes of Saudi women for an official organization that would fight for their rights.

We failed to obtain official approval to operate legally,” said Sulaiman Al-Salman, the man who came up with the idea to establish the society, Ansar Al-Mar’ah (Supporters of Women).

Al-Salman said he has been in constant conflict with the Ministry of Social Affairs to gain approval, adding that the ministry’s rejection has frustrated the group’s determination and that group members have, as a result, lost interest.

“I recently called members for a meeting, but no one showed up apart from one member who said he would be willing to join again once the society gets approved,” he said. “I realized that I was the only one working for this goal, all alone. So I decided to break it up,” he said.

He added that Ansar Al-Mar’ah does not enjoy support in some official circles because it includes members of both genders.

Support for women in the sharia state of Saudi Arabia seems to be a bit...lacking.