A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saudi Arabian Press on Kuwaiti Women and Passports

Here's an Arab News article from tomorrow entitled "Saudis Laud New Kuwaiti Law."

Yes, they're referring to the court ruling overturning the requirement that Kuwaiti women have the permissions of their husbands or sons before obtaining a passport. Of course, if you read the article with care, you'll note that while noting that Saudi women are free to travel, they sidestep the issue of a rather similar requirement in Saudi Arabia. For example:

“Kuwaiti women now have the full rights that they deserve and for which they have fought for a long time,” said Samia Al-Idrissi, a businesswoman based in the Eastern Province.

“Saudi women are eligible to travel, and entitled to be responsible for themselves and the decisions that they make,” she said, adding that Saudi women are not second-class citizens.

Al-Idrissi, a prominent businesswoman, believes that since women are held accountable and able to take big decisions like men, they can handle themselves when traveling.

Speaking about the irony of Saudi widows forced to get consent to travel from their sons, she said, “The Saudi mother knows her values — If her husband is dead, then her son gives her his consent to travel.”

Okay. Wait. Did I miss something?

Or is this subtle editorializing that this is a good thing, and let's do it here, but with a nod to the religious establishment and the mutawwa‘in at the end?

1 comment:

LJ Marczak said...

Here's another interesting news item related to societal changes.

Earlier this month, the Education Ministry announced that 15 or so private primary schools had been given permission to conduct a test of mixed classes up to the third grade.