Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Saudi Women Journalists:Interviewing Men is a Problem

The reason why I am running this story on my blog is not only because I want to applaud Saudi women for their courage but also I was extremely touched how I took my career achievements for granted. Working as a journalist at a certain point of my life led me to so many people and places that I have always enjoyed and thought it is a great joy to be able continuously to explore personalities and places. I never thought whom I am meeting based on their gender, color, age, nationality or race.

The case is different in Saudi Arabia and women are struggling to do their work, but I am sure if they are trying they will reach where they want one day.

I am so grateful for my parents for giving me freedom and allowing me to make my own choices in life and never making feel that something is hindering me because I am a female. I always went for what I wanted with confidence.

RIYADH (Reuters) - They are few in number but determined to make their mark -- women journalists in Saudi Arabia have fought hard to get where they are and say they have more than proved themselves the equal of men.

The kingdom is one of the most restrictive places in the world for women, where powerful clerics say a woman's place is in the home, raising a family.

Women cannot drive cars, must be accompanied in public by male relatives, and must cover themselves up in anonymous black robes lest they incite men's sexual desire.

But despite limitations on women in the workplace, many who have ventured into the media industry as Saudi Arabia opens up under King Abdullah have attracted attention for their tenacity and professionalism.

A young print journalist in the capital Riyadh, who declined to be named, said female journalists had a lot of strengths people might not appreciate. "I want to speak out," she said.

The journalist, who hails from the less restrictive Eastern Province on the Gulf coast, said her family supported her ambitions but Saudi society made it difficult to do her work.

"The problem is we don't have media departments at university for women. But you need to know how to write, and I don't have the tools," she said in an interview.

"Media means working evenings. You can't do interviews except in your office, and if you go to a hotel lobby, it's a crime," she said, recounting how a colleague was hauled off by the Saudi morality police for interviewing an unrelated man.

"You have to find safe ways. I have to be really careful. In Saudi Arabia, every one is watching you," she said.

The religious police, who believe women should cover their entire faces, can cause problems for a woman taking the pulse of public opinion on the street. Seating arrangements also separate women journalists from men at news conferences. more...

Previously: History made in Kuwait, Women go for their Rights!


At 5:34 AM, Blogger sara said...

The prophet of Islam(salla Allahu alyhy wa salam), said in his last sermon that "All men are equal, whatever nation or tribe that they belong to, and whatever station of life they may hold, all are equal. Even as this month is sacred, this day holy, so has God made the lives, properties and honor of every man sacred. To take any man's life or property, or attack his honor is as unjust and wrong as to violate the sacredness of this day, this month, and this territory. What I command you today is not meant only for today, but for all time. You are expected to remember it and act upon it until you leave this world and go to the next and meet your Maker. "

At 5:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But despite limitations on women in the workplace, many who have ventured into the media industry as Saudi Arabia opens up under King Abdullah have attracted attention for their tenacity and professionalism."

It's funny... when I lived in Saudi (85-88), Abdullah was the strict conservative of the family, arguing loudly against the creeping "westernisation" invading the country, while Fahd was the playboy with a palace in Marbella, who had to restrain himself when he was put on the throne. Nowadays, every time I see him mentioned in the media (any media), he is referred to as a renewing force after his brother's isolationalist reign, being open to the west and on a route to make Saudi an intigrated part of the modern world.

Strange how things change...

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous mohamed mohsen said...

saudia is a family make up state

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Ibrahim Ali said...

A moral woman should stay at home - unlike Russian women who are sluts!

On Russia, Egypt should cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Russia as this Greek Orthodox theocracy led by Vladimir Putin massacres innocent Chechen Muslims.

Let us stop the occupation of Chechnya, Kashmir, Southern Thailand, and Palestine as well as Kosovo!

Death to the Greek Orthodox!

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely disagree what that moron Ibrahim Ali said, NOT ALL Russian women are like this, you fucking racist!! Your god Allah will punish you for going against others. Shame on you.

At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! and let me tell you something else. You all think muslim women are so perfect and untouched?! Guess what! Before marrige they take it up every hole if not the main one!


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