Saudi Arabia: Saudi Women’s Group Wins EU Rights Prize
Several rights groups in member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council were shortlisted for the prize, which brings the winner 6,000 euros (7,760 dollars).
"With the launching of the Chaillot Prize, the EC desires to acknowledge the extraordinary work which is done by some institutions and individuals in the field of human rights in all the Gulf countries," said Antonia Calvo, the EC deputy head of mission for the region.
Al-Nahda is one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest and most prominent non-governmental organisations, and its first foundation for women, founded in 1962 under the auspices of two respected princesses, Princess Sara al-Faisal and Princess Latifa al-Faisal.
Aside from helping thousands of poor women learn crafts and trades to help support themselves or augment family income, the group helps to provide housing to poor families and operates health awareness programmes for poor women. The prize will be awarded in a Riyadh ceremony on December 17, said Calvo.
Women in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom face many restrictions, including not being allowed to travel or obtain identity documents without the permission of their male guardian. They are also banned from driving, and should cover from head to toe when in public.
11 December 2008
Source: Arab Reform Initiative
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