Target: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Congratulate Saudi Arabia for reforms allowing women into government.
The notoriously ultraconservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia has finally allowed women into government. King Abdullah swore women into the Shura Council, the governing council appointed by the King. Women now make up a fifth of the council. Sign the petition to applaud Saudi Arabia for reforms allowing women into the government.
Saudi Arabia is known for following a strict form of Sharia law. The Kingdom has a male guardianship system where are women are considered minors who must be accompanied by a male chaperon. They require the consent of the male guardian to travel or open a bank account. Women are not permitted to drive or be with any member of the opposite sex who is not a relative. They are required by law to wear a burqa, a full body covering dress. They are also denied many career positions.
The 90-year-old King has been attempting to make reforms to improve the condition of women. Women were recently granted the right to vote in municipal elections. King Abdullah has also made it easier for women to work. His actions to allow women into government has sparked opposition from conservative clerics who protested outside the royal courts. The clerics believe that making it easier for women to work and enter government is in violation of Sharia law.
King Abdullah is in a difficult position of balancing the demands of the conservative clerics and women who seek greater rights and freedoms. He has faced protest from women demanding, among other things, the right to drive. Sign the petition to support King Abdullah’s attempts at reform.
Dear King Abdullah,
I am writing as a human rights activist to applaud your recent reforms aimed at improving the conditions of women. Your move to appoint women to the Shura Council are a step in the right direction for Saudi Arabia. Saudi women aspire to gain equal rights and freedoms to their male counterparts. This includes the right to drive, the right to work in a job of their choice and legal and economic self-sufficiency.
In addition to allowing women the right to vote in municipal elections and seats on the Shura Council, I urge you to address their other concerns. It is time to phase out the male guardianship system and recognize women as legal adults capable of making their own choices. This will bring Saudi Arabia in line with international norms of women rights.
I hope you consider changing the law to implement serious reforms for women.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Walter Callens via Flickr.