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Saudi Arabia Girls Council Keeps Them Safely in Another Room

Image: Saudi Arabia Girls Council Keeps Them Safely in Another Room
(Twitter post screengrab)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 08:14 AM

A Saudi Arabia girls council's inaugural photo taken over the weekend sparked debate on social media because it didn't include any girls, reported the BBC News. That's because the girls were being kept in another room.

The photo of the Qassim Girls Council taken on Saturday showed 13 mostly older men on stage, including a Saudi prince. The girls, it was explained, were in another room linked to the men's gathering via video.

The conference in the al-Qassim province, launched by its governor Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, was hailed as the first of its kind in the kingdom, noted BBC.

"His wife, Princess Abir bint Salman, is the head of the council — and almost certainly would have been in the photo, were it not for the kingdom's rigid codes," said Washington Post Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan. "Most public buildings in Saudi Arabia, including banks, offices and universities, have separate entrances for women and men.

"Parks, beaches, and public transportation are segregated in most parts of the nation. If unrelated men and women mix, it could lead to criminal charges against both parties, although women often face harsher punishment."

The irony of the photo didn't prevent the prince from expressing his views on the conference, noted BBC:

"In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls."

His comment hardly slowed the controversy the photo stirred online.

The Post said a plan calls for increasing Saudi women's role in the economy, including boosting their participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent by 2030.

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A Saudi Arabia girls council's inaugural photo taken over the weekend sparked debate on social media because it didn't include any girls, reported the BBC News. That's because the girls were being kept in another room.
saudi arabia, girls, council
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2017-14-15
Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 08:14 AM
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