A regular listener to this station has heard me talk before about Saudi Arabia. Women are second class citizens in that country but Canada hypocritically treats it as a friend and ally for political and financial reasons. Last week a big deal was made about how Saudi Arabia will finally allow women to obtain a driver’s licence and drive on their own as of next June. Until now, it was the only country in the world that wouldn’t allow women to get behind the wheel.
But before we start congratulating the Saudis on this baby step let’s keep in mind that, according to Human Rights Watch, women there still can’t marry without the consent of their male guardians, said guardians consisting of a woman’s father, husband, brother or son. A woman also needs a male guardian’s permission to divorce while men may petition the courts to forcibly divorce a female relative from her husband if they deem the marriage “unfit”. Other things women can’t do without their guardian’s permission include getting a passport or ID card, travelling abroad or even leaving their house, opening a bank account or one for their children, get a job, interact freely with men who are not family members. Because Saudi Arabia operates under Sharia Law, women cannot dress how they want, a woman is only entitled to half of what their brother gets in an inheritance and, as insane as it sounds, the testimony of a man in a Saudi court is equal to that of two women, meaning a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. That Dark Age’s kingdom still has a very long way to go to get with the program.