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Saudi Shura Council Denies Establishment of National Women's Committee - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- A Shura Council source has revealed that recent reports regarding the establishment of a National Women’s Committee whose task is to discuss women’s issues are not true. It added that the names mentioned in the report are also unaware of any such committee and the Shura Council did not contact them because no such committee exists.

Abdul Rahman al-Sughayyar, the director of the Shura Council’s public relations and press department, said in a statement to “Asharq al-Awsat” that a number of women experts were asked to express their opinions on some programs related to the Saudi woman’s position in society but no women committee has been formed so far. He pointed out that the issue remains an idea in its first stages and only one meeting was held to discuss it and no specific names were ever raised.

He added that the role of the candidates, once the idea takes shape and the committee is formed, would be that of advisors in everything that concerns the woman and what serves her interest inside society and therefore these consultations would be in the interest of the whole country. He noted that the Council sought on several occasions the opinion of female experts on issues, such as high dowries and the rearing of the young and minors for which 25 women were called to discuss and exchange views on it since the woman is the one that can give an opinion on such issues. He added that having the woman as a Shura Council member is absolutely out of the question, has not been discussed, and will not be discussed because it is a pure political decision.

In the same context, Dr. Hatun al-Fasi, the writer and woman’s history teacher at the King Saud University’s History Department and one of the names mentioned in the reports as a member of the women committee, said she does not know anything about the nature of this committee and no contact has been made with her about it. She stressed that it is in the country’s interest not to spread rumors because these are not in the national interest. She asserted at the same time that accuracy should be sought when publishing reports that serve the development process are published.

Dr. Hind Al al-Sheikh said all the names mentioned in the reports do not know anything about being nominated and pointed out that she contacted some of them and discovered their ignorance of the committee report. She added that publishing such reports kills the committee, which remains secret and about which we know nothing.

Saudi media organs recently published a report about the Shura Council’s intention to establish a women committee affiliated to it and said the Council nominated a number of experts, including Dr. Fawziyah Abu-Khalid, Dr. Hatun al-Fasi, and Saudi writer Badriyah al-Bishr.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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