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West turns a blind eye on Saudi women
Mon, 25 Apr 2011 06:27:24 GMT
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Saudi Arabia disenfranchise women with the West support
The Unites States has routinely criticized some countries for the disenfranchisement of women and human rights abuse. It, however, does not criticize its close ally Saudi Arabia for its blatant discrimination against women.

PressTV interviewed Carol Gould, playwright and journalist from London to discuss the situation of women in the oil-rich monarchy.

PressTV: The West continuously criticizes countries regarding human rights abuses. Why hasn't Washington come down hard on Riyadh for its blatant discrimination against women?

Gould: Well, that's a very good question. I think it is very extraordinary that in this day and age any country in the world could disenfranchise women and as we see Hilary Clinton has not said anything she being the Secretary of State and President Obama as you said has not come down hard.

Of course there is an alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States, so it's kind of a natural progression that they are not coming to come down hard on someone who they regard as an ally and there was mentioned in the introduction the connection of oil, so there are many factors here that it is extraordinary that a country that has been at the forefront of complaining about human rights around the world and the disfranchisement of women, has pretty much kept silent, except of course for spokespeople in the United States who are not in the government, who have spoken out and I would imagine that you could have many guests from the United States who would be speaking out against this disenfranchise of women.

PressTV: Do you think with the situation we are witnessing in the Arab world, is the hypocrisy of western governments being exposed?

Gould: well, if you take an example of Dr. Maha al-Muneef, who is an outstanding pediatrician in Saudi Arabia; she has also started an organization to combat domestic violence particularly against children. She is an outstanding doctor in Saudi Arabia, but when you think of that she can't drive a car, she needs a guardian, she can't vote and that in itself-- forgetting Western hypocrisy-- that is a hypocrisy within Saudi Arabia that outstanding women who have achieved something in the country, can't even vote. So the total discussion of disenfranchisement is a really big Saudi problem, but as you say the West isn't doing very much about it.

I was reading something just last month on the web. It was on a Yahoo blog from a teacher at the American school in Riyadh who said that a young Saudi woman who had had an outstanding education record wanted to teach there and as soon as she started her brother came and took her out and took her home and the teacher actually went back to the United States because she felt she couldn't stay in a country where women couldn't make one step forward without making three steps back.

So it isn't a problem of Islam, it is a problem within Saudi Arabian policy and the West is not protesting. It is to me an extraordinary situation that anywhere in the world women can't vote notwithstanding the fact that women couldn't vote in the United States until 1920, less than a 100 years ago. So disenfranchisement is fairly recent and in the United States black people really were not able to vote although it was said they were until 1964 and the Civil Rights Act. So it is actually also a Western issue.

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