I am a Muslim Saudi woman. Though I am elated at the news of a conference being held on the all-too-needed topic of women's rights here, the content of your article had me doubting whether the conference really accomplished what it set out to do.
Their endeavors on behalf of women are much appreciated. However, these social problems
will never be solved if they keep listening to no one but themselves, repeating
they've been saying for many years: "All is well". It's not. I'm sure if you asked the average Saudi woman, she would not agree that "all her needs are provided for". Transportation? Nope. Independence? Nope. Right to work? Oh, they're still discussing that. Mentioned in one of the lectures was 'women having illegal sex and getting abortions'. Those women did not
impregnate themselves. As with all problems, the blame cannot be skewed to one
side. We need to stop blaming the women for moral bankruptcy in society. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes.
not affected by the driving ban, as they have drivers: "why should they care?" Many women conduct themselves in a way totally bereft of decorum and dignity, much less their supposed 'faith'; why are women who call themselves Muslim walking around malls in drag queen makeup? This merely lends fuel to excuses to hinder women's rights on the hollow basis of 'preventing immorality'.
Point is, the women are not pristinely innocent creatures either: no one is. What we most need to understand is that these issues in Saudi Arabia - and the world as a whole - are not part of a 'gender war': this is a comprehensive social problem. We need to honestly face it, and ourselves, if we are to go anywhere, and if we are ever to find solutions.