For the first time ever, a Women’s Day event has just taken place in the ultra-conservative Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
6 February 2017| Last updated on 27 June 2017
For the first time ever, a Women’s Day event has just taken place in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh.
The three-day event, which took place at the King Fahd Cultural Centre, featured talks from women’s rights advocates who covered topics such as allowing females to drive and putting an end to male guardianship.
Amongst those present, Saudi royal family female members took part in the panel discussions. Princess Al-Jawhara bint Fahad Al-Saud hosted a discussion surrounding women’s roles in education, Princess Adila bint Abdullah Al-Saud talked about the Kingdom’s heritage and Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan discussed the importance of sports for Saudi women.
While the activities were for women only, families were able to attend the outdoor activities for the children. The general supervisor of the centre, Mohammed Al Saif, has stated that no attempts were made to stop the event and that the Kingdom wants to celebrate Saudi women and their roles and achievements.
Change on the horizon
The topic of women’s rights has long been controversial in Saudi Arabia. However, recently there has been a significant push towards changing that. In 2015, women finally gained their right to vote and take part in elections. In 2016, the powers of the religious police were reduced.
Currently, there are proposed laws to allow women to obtain their own passports and to be able to pass on citizenship to children born to a non-Saudi father.