UN Women Executive Board: Saudi Arabia
Mission of the UN Women:
| Photo: Saudi women|
Women in Saudi Arabia may not legally drive cars. The Committee to Prevent Vice and Promote Virtue, known as the mutawa'een, often harasses women, using physical punishment to ensure that women meet conservative standards of dress in public.
(2009 Freedom House Report)
"The main roles of UN Women are: To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms; To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society; To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress." (UN Women web-site
Saudi Arabia's Term of office: 2010-2013
Saudi Arabia's Record on Women's rights:
"Women are not treated as equal members of society, and many laws discriminate against them...they may not legally drive cars, and their use of public facilities is restricted when men are present. By law and custom, Saudi women cannot travel within or outside of the country without a male relative...Unlike Saudi men, Saudi women who marry non-Saudis are not permitted to pass their nationality on to their children, and their spouses cannot receive Saudi nationality. Saudi women seeking access to the courts must work with a male. According to interpretations of Sharia in Saudi Arabia, daughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers, and the testimony of one man is equal to that of two women in Sharia courts...The Committee to Prevent Vice and Promote Virtue, a semiautonomous religious police force commonly known as the mutawa'een, enforces a strict policy of segregation between men and women and often harasses women, using physical punishment to ensure that women meet conservative standards of dress in public. In 2007, a court sentenced a Shiite woman from Qatif, who had been gang raped by seven men, to 200 lashes and six months in jail for being alone with a man who was not her relative at the time of the attack; the man was also raped by the attackers and punished by the court."
(Freedom House Country Report 2009, Saudi Arabia)