Recently, Saudi women activists, led by Saudi Princess Jawaher bint Jalawi, launched a campaign called "My Guardian Knows What's Best For Me," calling for redefining the term "guardian" and for opposing calls by those with liberal views to improve the status of women in Saudi Arabia. Princess Jawaher's campaign is a response to the struggle launched in July 2009 by Saudi women's rights activist Wajeha Al-Huweidar calling for abolishing the mahram ("guardian") law, which requires women to obtain the approval of a male relative for nearly any move they make in their lives.
On 25 August the court of Al-Shamli, north of Hail, found Mrs Khamisa Sawadi guilty of the charge of "khilwa" (mingling with two young men to whom she was not immediately related), and the higher court in Riyadh ratified their verdict. One of the two young men who was tried alongside Sawadi may face additional charges for filing a law suit against the religious police. This is in spite of the fact that in May the Court of Cassation refused to ratify the verdict and returned the case to Al-Shamli court with several observations on the previous verdict, including the rejection of her breastfeeding claim and the fact that she is old.
According to a press release issued by Nepalese Embassy in Saudi Arabia on Jul. 12 housemaids are sometimes sold from one master to another if they aren't satisfied with them. "Majority of these women are raped, sexually and physically assaulted."
Equality Now recently called on the Saudi government to take urgent action to reunite Fatima Bent Suleiman Al Azzaz and Mansour Ben Attieh El Timani, a happily married couple who were forced to divorce against their will.
Saudi officials continue to require women to obtain permission from male guardians to conduct their most basic affairs, like traveling or receiving medical care, despite government assertions that no such requirements exist, Human Rights Watch said.
A Saudi court has authorized the payment of SR200,000 in blood money to the family of Suryati Bint Dulbari Nurisman, an Indonesian maid in her 20s the authorities say was tortured and beaten to death by a Saudi housewife.
A Saudi judge told a conference on domestic violence that a man has the right to slap a wife who spends money wastefully and said women were as much to blame as men for increased spousal abuse, a Saudi newspaper reported.
A Saudi judge refused for the second time to grant an eight-year-old girl a divorce from her 47-year-old husband. The Unaizah Court ruled that the girl cannot file for divorce until she reaches puberty.