Friday, 24 March 2017

They Just Don't Do Irony

Irony - Where are you in the Muslim world?

You just can't make this one up .... the Saudi's, who love to demonstrate that women in Islam are treated like 'sisters' and not a lesser class of human at every opportunity, came up with a new wheeze. They would invite the worlds press to the opening session of the inaugural 'girls council' in al-Qassim province.

The Saudi Girls Council - Features No Women Or Girls.

They considered this to be a very liberal action, in a land where women's lives are proscribed at every turn by the decisions of the law, the religion and their male relatives. Saudi Arabia is not exactly known for giving women any sort of platform in public life. They cant drive cars and have only a very limited political franchise to vote.

However this display of liberalism .... well if not liberalism, at least a tiny shift in that direction, came horribly unstuck, when on to the platform came a string of men ............ yes no women. The women were banned from appearing with the male organisers and were in another room, watching proceedings on a video link.

So just 13 men were on stage, and not a single female.

They then compounded the error by:
  • Allowing pictures of the debacle to be circulated, and
  • Trying to justify the decision to block the women from the stage.

"In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls," stated Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, the province's governor who launched the initiative. He added that he was proud of the conference, and that it was the first of its kind in the kingdom. The girls council is actually chaired by Princess Abir bint Salman, the princes wife, who was also not on the stage or in the photographs.

As you might expect, social media has been all over the story, and its been compared to the image of US President Donald Trump, surrounded by men, signing an anti-abortion policy in January.

All The Presidents Men ..... Signing An Abortion Law.

This council is supposedly part of its Vision 2030 programme, whose goals included increasing women's participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%, as Prince Faisal pointed out that women actually make up half of society ... go figure!!

Looks like at least one half of Saudi society still have a long way to go in accepting that figure as a fact, while the other half have a long way to go before they get any genuine acceptance of their right to exist and be equal.


  1. Amazing! One as clueless as the other!

    Lisa Simpson can't take over soon enough.

    1. President Simpson .... has a ring to it!


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