Tens of thousands of Saudi women took to Twitter after Human Rights Watch (HRW) launched a social campaign aimed against cultural paternalism and male guardianship in Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for its oppression of human rights.
The effort was triggered after HRW released a July report on the state of women’s rights in the country. The watchdog report highlighted that so-called male guardianship, a strict form of gender-based cultural domination, is “the most significant impediment to realizing women’s rights in the country, effectively rendering adult women legal minors who cannot make key decisions for themselves.”
"In Saudi Arabia, a woman's life is controlled by a man from birth until death. Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, but in some cases a brother or even a son, who has the power to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf," HRW reported.
Within the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi women cannot travel or marry without their male guardian’s permission. Women must be escorted by a male guardian to do such routine activities as renting an apartment, filing legal claims or going to class.
"The impact these restrictive policies have on a woman's ability to pursue a career or make life decisions varies, but is largely dependent on the goodwill of her male guardian. In some cases, men use the authority that the male guardianship system grants them to extort female dependents. Guardians have conditioned their consent for women to work or to travel on her paying him large sums of money," the report said.
While preparing the report, HRW interviewed 61 women whose life experiences were documented in the form of videos posted to social media.
HRW initiated a campaign with the #TogetherToEndMaleGuardianship hashtag. It found widespread response in Saudi Arabia, with over 170,000 tweets in both English and Arabic sharing the negative experiences of women under the domination of male guardianship, as well as demands for equal rights.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
does not correspond with the subject of the post;
promotes hatred and discrimination on racial, ethnic, sexual, religious or social basis or violates the rights of minorities;
violates the rights of minors, causing them harm in any form, including moral damage;
contains ideas of extremist nature or calls for other illegal activities;
contains insults, threats to other users, individuals or specific organizations, denigrates dignity or undermines business reputations;
contains insults or messages expressing disrespect to Sputnik;
violates privacy, distributes personal data of third parties without their consent or violates privacy of correspondence;
describes or references scenes of violence, cruelty to animals;
contains information about methods of suicide, incites to commit suicide;
pursues commercial objectives, contains improper advertising, unlawful political advertisement or links to other online resources containing such information;
promotes products or services of third parties without proper authorization;
contains offensive language or profanity and its derivatives, as well as hints of the use of lexical items falling within this definition;
contains spam, advertises spamming, mass mailing services and promotes get-rich-quick schemes;
promotes the use of narcotic / psychotropic substances, provides information on their production and use;
contains links to viruses and malicious software;
is part of an organized action involving large volumes of comments with identical or similar content ("flash mob");
“floods” the discussion thread with a large number of incoherent or irrelevant messages;
violates etiquette, exhibiting any form of aggressive, humiliating or abusive behavior ("trolling");
doesn’t follow standard rules of the English language, for example, is typed fully or mostly in capital letters or isn’t broken down into sentences.
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.