Saudi Shoura member wants to end male guardianship

Updated 14 December 2017
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Saudi Shoura member wants to end male guardianship

RIYADH: In light of the recent drive Saudi Arabia is undertaking to empower women, a member of the Shoura Council, Dr. Eqbal Darandari, who sits on the Human Rights Committee, spoke about the necessity of revoking the requirement of a guardian’s permission for Saudi women to travel.
The Shoura Council member strongly feels this is a step in the right direction as it tallies with the decree to allow women to drive. The two — in her opinion — are interminably connected.
Darandari believes it is the Shoura Council’s role to supervise and legislate, and as a member of that council she told Arab News: “It’s my pivotal duty to monitor human rights, whether it be for men or women, and to ensure that everyone is fairly entitled to their rights.”
Specialized in psychology, she faced many obstacles as an academic: “I was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and I fought to instigate the first deanship position at King Saud University (KSU). I finally achieved that six years ago,” she told Arab News.
She admitted to speaking up for women specifically due to the complexities of their issues. “I am for justice, and there’s a lot of injustice against some women due to misconstrued traditions and practices, and limited religious outlooks, putting women in harm’s way as a result.
“I don’t think allowing women to travel will lead to an increase in the number of girls’ escape cases, which often occurs in broken homes lacking familial compatibility.”
She thinks it unreasonable to deal with this generation, which has great aspirations due to its openness to the world, in the same manner used to deal with older generations.
“Nowadays, adolescents believe they’re entitled to independence and trust, to lay claim to their rights. That, in turn, gives them great confidence in society and builds their sense of belonging, containing them rather than fueling their rebellion and disobedience.”
Dandarani added that she believes anyone who has reached adulthood, of either sex, is responsible enough for their actions. “A woman’s travel permit is unjust and is a discrimination between the two sexes.”
After studying traditional and modern scholars’ opinions within religious texts, Darandari brought up the debatable case of mahram (guardian) and the direct guardian’s consent. “Does a 40-year-old woman need the consent of her minor son? Can a conservative father refuse his daughter’s travels for education or treatment? What sort of message are we trying to send to the world?”
When not participating in Shoura Council activities, Dr. Darandari occupies a post as assistant professor in the department of psychology at KSU. She is also the supervisor of the evaluation and development unit (Qiyas).
 
 


Saudi heritage chief launches Korean exhibition in Riyadh

Updated 19 December 2018
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Saudi heritage chief launches Korean exhibition in Riyadh

RIYADH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, officially opened an exhibition in Riyadh showcasing Korean history and culture. He was joined at the event by Professor Bae Kidong, the director general of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, and Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jo Byung-Wook.
Titled “Korean History and Culture: an Enchanting Journey to the Korean Civilization,” the exhibition — which will be at the National Museum until March 7, 2019 and is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia — features rare artifacts that showcase Korean archaeology, civilization and folklore, as well as a selection of exhibits from the Korean National Museum.
Prince Sultan said that such cooperation in the field of culture and archaeology is very important, especially since Korea has a great and ancient culture, and given its important relationship with Saudi Arabia through the years.
On behalf of the Korean government and people, Prof. Bae expressed his sincere appreciation to the Kingdom for hosting the exhibition.