Questions for Hibaaq Osman, founder and director of Karama: 1. How have efforts to implement the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) in the Arab region evolved since Beijing? Has this been satisfactory? Since the adoption of the BPFA, there has been considerable progress throughout the region in meeting international standards that reinforce gender equality. In particular, the civil society sector has expanded, proliferating local organizations whose mission it is to address key issues that have prevented governments and other authorities from enacting, implementing and enforcing laws that protect women from discrimination and violence. This NGO component had been largely missing and now acts to directly respond to the needs of the local community and communicate these to national and international authorities. In particular, a renewed focus on empowering women and increasing their role in decision-making has been demonstrated.
Saudi Arabia's justice minister says his department is drafting a law that would allow female lawyers to argue legal cases in court for the first time. Mohammed Al-Eissa told reporters on Saturday the bill will be issued in the coming days as part of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s “plan to develop the justice system.” The law would mark a major step for female lawyers in the Kingdom. Currently, women law graduates can work in government offices and in court offices, but cannot argue cases before court. Under the new law, women would be allowed to argue cases on child custody, divorce and other family-related issues.
Saudi Arabia’s state human rights body has hired a lawyer to review the case of a girl whose mother sought her divorce from an 80-year-old man, a move activists hope is a first step against child marriage. Saudi Arabia, a patriarchal society that applies an austere version of Sunni Islam, has no minimum legal age for marriage. Fathers are granted guardianship over their daughters, giving them control over who their daughters marry and when.
The issue of women driving in Saudi Arabia is again a topic of public discussion, following an extraordinary incident that took place during the recent flooding in the city of Jeddah. A 15-year-old girl named Malak Al-Mutairi managed to extricate herself from a partially submerged car, and then got in the family jeep and towed other vehicles and their occupants to safety, saving her own family and eight others.
نقضت المحكمة العليا الحكم الصادر من محكمة الجوف في " قضية النسب " الشهيرة ، والذي سبق وأن أُيد من محكمة التمييز حيث زعم اخو الزوجة غير الشقيق بأن زوجها لاينتسب إلى قبيلة. المحامي احمد الخالد السديري الذي قدم طعناً في الحكم الصادر من محكمة الجوف قال في تصريح له " هيئة حقوق الانسان كلفتني بعد أن أثار هذا الحكم ضجة كبيرة، وتناولته الصحف الغربية فأخذتني الحمية فكتبت طعنا وقدمته لهيئة حقوق الانسان السعودية". ويضيف السديري "بعد ذلك رفعت الهيئة الطعن للمقام السامي وأُحيل من المقام السامي إلى المحكمة العليا للنظر فيه. ولأن عندنا قضاء عادل يحكم بالشرع ويحكم بالعدالة التي هي جوهر الشرع حكمت المحكمة العليا بنقض الحكم الصادر من محكمة الجوف وإعادة شمل الاسرة ودرء الضرر عن الزوجين، وهذا الحكم نهائي"
Over four years after a judge in Jouf annulled the marriage of Fatima and Mansour at the behest of Fatima’s half brothers, the Supreme Judiciary Council in Riyadh on Saturday overruled the decision and ordered that the couple be reunited in matrimony. “The divorce ruling is void, therefore the return of the couple together is inevitable now and does not require (another) marriage ceremony,” Ahmad Al-Sudairi, who has been providing the couple pro bono representation, told Arab News. Fatima was pregnant with the couple’s second child when on June 20, 2005 a judge ruled in favor of Fatima’s half brothers and divorced her from Mansour Al-Timani in absentia.
In most countries, a woman in her mid-20s is legally an adult. And in most countries, foreigners are free to leave when they like. In its flagrant rejection of these two principles, Saudi Arabia is unique, and that is a big problem for 24-year-old Nazia Quazi.
عنيزة، تحقيق–عبدالرحمن البقمي، بدر العتيبي. فصول مثيرة وأحداث جديدة خرجت على السطح لتكشف للقارئ الكثير من الغموض حول "طفلة بريدة" البالغة من العمر 12 عاماً؛ والتي زوجها والدها برجل ثمانيني. وفي هذا التحقيق نستكمل القضية مع جميع الأطراف (الزوج، ووالد الطفلة، ومأذون الأنكحة، والوكيل الشرعي عن الأم، الطفلة)، وذلك بعد أن التقينا سابقاً مع والدة الطفلة وتحدثت في حوار مطول عن معاناتها وطفلتها من هذا الزواج غير المتكافئ عمرياً.
Saudi Arabia's appointed Shura Council has approved establishing a public defender program, a step that will strengthen the criminal justice system, Human Rights Watch said today. The program approved by the council on January 11, 2010 will appoint a lawyer at the state's expense to any criminal defendant who cannot afford one.