Saudi Arabia just created a girls’ council – with no girls
Saudi Arabia has created a girls’ council, with just one problem.
As a picture released from the first meeting indicates, there were no girls.
The country held its inaugural girls’ council in al-Qassim province, releasing a photo to the press to mark the first Qassim Girls Council meeting, with 13 men.
The image did the rounds on social media, as people gawked at how there could be no women involved in the women’s initiative.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative nations on earth, where women are unable to drive and homosexuality is punishable by death.
It turns out there are women involved in the programme, but they had to gather in a different room due to the country’s strict gender degregation rules.
They joined the meeting by video link, which wasn’t shown in the image.
Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, the province’s governor, is behind the intiiative, which is the first of its kind in the kingdom.
“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,” he said.
The country is trying to increase the number of women in work from 22% to its target of 30%, which is seen as a sign of thawing conservative attitudes towards women.
It could start by including the in their photos.