Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Woman's Letter to President Obama

          Read the letter from Wajeha Al-Huwaider to President Obama, asking him to raise women's rights on his trip to Saudi Arabia. She complains of a legal system of male guardianship in which women cannot take any actions without male oversight. Women, e.g., cannot travel or receive medical care without male authorization--sometimes even an adult is required to have authorization from a sixteen-year-old son.
          Al-Huwaider compares her experience to the birds in the Gulf of Mexico who are so covered with oil that they have difficulty flying. These birds can hardly move: they have no control over their lives, and they cannot fly freely to go to a place where they can feel safe. So too with Saudi women who are not free to exercise control over their lives and are treated like children requiring guardians even though they are mature adults. 


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