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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Taken From Philippines in Transit; Faces Harm, Criminal Charges

(Manila) – A fleeing Saudi woman faces grave risks after being returned to Saudi Arabia against her will while in transit in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should ensure that Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, is…
A photo of Dina Ali Lasloom’s boarding pass from Kuwait to the Philippines.
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Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade. Adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry, or be released…
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Summary We all have to live in the borders of the boxes our dads or husbands draw for us. —Zahra, 25-year-old Saudi woman, April 7, 2016 It can mess with your head and the way you look at yourself. How do you respect yourself or how [can…
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Gulf Countries Should Improve Laws, Ratify Treaty

(Beirut) – Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify the…
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Absence of Enforcement Mechanism Will Inhibit Effectiveness

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers broke new ground on August 26, 2013, by passing a draft law criminalizing domestic abuse. The law, however, does not detail specific enforcement mechanisms to ensure prompt investigations of abuse allegations…
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In Norway on Saturday, three women stepped up to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. The awarding of the Nobel to Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a long-awaited and, some may think, overdue testament to women's courage.…
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Fathers Imprison Adult Daughters, Prevent Marriage, Obtain Grandchildren's Custody

(New York) - Saudi judges have repeatedly granted fathers the right to interfere arbitrarily in their adult children's private lives, in serious violation of their right to privacy and to establish families freely, Human Rights Watch said today. Fathers…
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Evidence Shows Male Permission Still Being Required for Surgery, Travel

(New York) - Saudi officials continue to require women to obtain permission from male guardians to conduct their most basic affairs, like traveling or receiving medical care, despite government assertions that no such requirements exist, Human Rights…
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Glossary of Key Terms Ahliyya Legal capacity to act in legal or financial transactions. Madhhab School of Islamic law or jurisprudence. Mu'arif A male relative able to verify the identity of a …