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Loujain al-Hathloul, Nouf Abdelaziz Risk Return to Prison if They Speak Out

Prominent Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was released from prison earlier this week after spending 1,001 days in detention, a testament to the tireless campaign of her family and human rights activists around the globe since her arrest…
Loujain al-Hathloul
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HRW G20 Campaign Calls for Release of All Human Rights Defenders

For more than two years, Saudi Arabia has locked up women’s rights activists who fought for – and won – women’s right to drive. But as the country is gearing up to virtually host the G20 World Leaders’ Summit November 21-22, it looks like the Saudi…
Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul had been on hunger strike for six days before Saudi authorities finally allowed her parents to visit on August 31, according to family members. Al-Hathloul had spent almost three months before that in incommunicado detention.
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Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
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Until Activists Are Free, Talk of Reform Rings Hollow

Saudi Arabia will virtually host the Women20 Summit (W20) this week. During the event, over 80 women’s rights experts representing nonprofits, private companies, and academic institutions will discuss “realizing opportunities of the 21st century…
Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul had been on hunger strike for six days before Saudi authorities finally allowed her parents to visit on August 31, according to family members. Al-Hathloul had spent almost three months before that in incommunicado detention.
News

Male Guardianship, Sexual Harassment Amongst Major Concerns

Over the past two weeks, Saudi women have taken to Twitter, using pseudonyms, to share their experiences with sexual harassment, the reasons behind their hesitance to report these abuses to the authorities, and demands for the abolition of…
© 2016 Human Rights Watch
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Australia Should Not Turn Its Back on Asylum Seekers

New reporting from Australia sheds light on the risks Saudi women face fleeing abuse, discrimination, or repression to seek safety in another country. According to ABC’s Four Corners, Australian authorities blocked entry to two Saudi…
Shelter
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Mid-July Deadline Passes Without Word on Guardianship System

Saudi women have lobbied for an end to systematic discrimination against them for many years – could this long wait be nearing an end? In April, King Salman issued an order stipulating that government agencies cannot deny…
Shelter
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Interrogation of Woman Who Wore Skirt in Snapchat Video Sparks Anger

A woman named Khulood was interrogated yesterday in Riyadh and handed over for prosecution. Her transgression? Wearing “indecent” clothing. But the same night, Saudi authorities released her without charge. A brief Snapchat video…
Screengrab from Khulood's Snapchat story.
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Male Guardianship System Remains at Heart of Unequal Treatment of Women

On April 19, United Nations member states elected Saudi Arabia to serve on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, a body “dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” But how does this…
© 2016 Human Rights Watch
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Saudi Prince Calls for End to the Ban on Women Driving

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has publicly called for an end to Saudi Arabia’s decades-old ban on women driving. Although the prince, a business magnate and investor, does not hold an official government position, he is the most high-profile…
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This week, Sepp Blatter, the chief of FIFA, the international governing body for football, appealed to Iran to end its longstanding stadium ban for women. Since the 1980s, Iran, like Saudi Arabia, has barred women and girls from attending men’s football…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
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 This week, a Saudi appeals court upheld the conviction of two women’s rights activists for trying to help a woman who claimed her husband locked her and their children in their home without enough food or drinking water. They are facing significant jail…
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More impact as of July 12, 2012: Saudi Arabia has said that it will send two female athletes to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time,…