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Saudi Arabia: Give women equal opportunities to education & end male guardianship over women

Action Number: 
31.4
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Apr 5
Swsan and her father
Swsan and her father

Swsan Ali El Demini, a bright and ambitious 18-year-old Saudi girl, has dreams of getting the best education. However, Swsan’s education has been an uphill struggle.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the King of Saudi Arabia, the Minister of Higher Education, the Minister of Education and the Shura Council asking them to live up to their obligations under international law to provide men and women equal rights in education with equal access to all academic levels and equal resources and facilities. Urge them to revoke all requirements that hinder female students from pursuing their education at all stages including the requirement that a male guardian accompany any Saudi female who studies abroad on a government scholarship. Urge them to ensure that the Saudi legal and judicial system reflect the stated claim that women are not subject to male guardianship, but rather have the right, among other things, to pursue all levels of education with access to the same fields of study, educational resources and facilities and on the same terms as their male counterparts. Please send a copy to the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

His Majesty, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 491 2726

H.E. Dr. Khaled Al Anqari
Minister of Higher Education
Tel: +966 1 441 5555     
Fax: +966 1 441 9004
contact@mohe.gov.sa

H.E. Faisal Bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Sud
Minister of Education
Fax: +96614057279

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Speaker of the Shura Shura Council
Tel: +966 1 482 1666, +966 1 482 1666           
Fax: +966 1 481 6985
webmaster@shura.gov.sa

With a copy to:

The Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 58889 Riyadh 11515
King Fahed Street, Building 373, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Email: hrc@haq-ksa.org

Letters: 

[His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 491 2726]

[H.E. Dr. Khaled Al Anqari
Minister of Higher Education
Tel: +966 1 441 5555
Fax: +966 1 4419004
contact@mohe.gov.sa]

[H.E. Faisal Bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Sud            
Minister of Education]
Fax:96614057279+

[H.E. Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Speaker of the Shura
Shura Council
Tel: +966 1 4821666 , +966 1 4821666      
Fax: +9661 4816985
webmaster@shura.gov.sa]

[Date]

[Your Highness] [Dear Minister],

I am writing to express my deep concern about the system of male guardianship in Saudi Arabia which among other things restricts girls’ access to education and therefore, to a successful and productive future.  Girls cannot be educated without the consent of their male guardian, can be restricted from pursuing further studies at any level, cannot leave the premises of educational institutions without permission from a male guardian and cannot travel abroad to study on a government scholarship without a male guardian.  In addition, the Saudi sex-segregated education system also provides inferior facilities and restricted curricula and fields of study to women. 

A case in point is that of 18-year-old Swsan Ali El Demini who wants to continue her studies overseas in the United States.  However, as her family requires government assistance to cover the cost of a US education, Swsan is unable to apply because of the requirement of the Saudi Ministry of Education that a male guardian accompany any Saudi female who studies abroad on a government scholarship.

I urge you to ensure that Saudi Arabia lives up to its obligations under international law to provide men and women equal rights in education with equal access to all academic levels and equal resources and facilities.  In this respect I urge you to revoke all requirements that hinder female students from pursuing their education at all stages including the requirement that a male guardian accompany any Saudi female who studies abroad on a government scholarship.  Please ensure that the Saudi legal and judicial system reflect the stated claim that women are not subject to male guardianship, but rather have the right, among other things, to pursue all levels of education with access to the same fields of study, educational resources and facilities and on the same terms as their male counterparts.

I thank you for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Cc: The Human Rights Commission (email: hrc@haq-ksa.org)
       Shura Council
 

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