Human Rights Commission: Saudi Arabia supports women

Saudi systems offer women the opportunity to represent their government at regional and international levels. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Human Rights Commission: Saudi Arabia supports women

JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia has said in a report that no fair observer can deny the recent empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia.
Women’s rights are stressed in the Basic Law of Governance, which prohibits discrimination against women and many other regulations contain provisions prohibiting all forms of discrimination.
Many criminal laws contain provisions providing for increased punishment when the victim is a woman, such as anti-trafficking laws, and participation in political and public life is a right available to every citizen in the Kingdom. A minimum of 20 percent of the seats in the Shoura Council have been allocated to women and the laws of the Kingdom have no provisions preventing women from holding senior positions.
The commission’s report stated that the labor system includes provisions to equalize rights and duties between men and women. The decision of the Minister of Labor No. (1/2370) dated 28/8/2010 prevent “any discrimination in wages between male and female workers.”
The Kingdom’s regulations guarantee maternity protection, especially in the workplace. The civil service system prohibits dismissal for any reason related to marriage or maternity.
The report added that Saudi systems offer women the opportunity to represent their government at regional and international levels, and there are no rules requesting the presence of a mahram (male guardian) for women to practice their legal, educational and other rights.
The report added that a judicial principle in 2013 gives women the right to divorce their husbands if they can not bear living with them. The Kingdom’s endorsement of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women gives them even more power.
The Commission’s report stressed that the issuance of the system of protection against abuse, which was prepared by a civil society institution, is a guarantee that contributes to stopping all forms of violence against women.
The Kingdoms education system is based on equality between men and women at all stages. The rate of illiteracy in the Kingdom 25 years ago was 60 percent, with women forming the majority of illiterate Saudis. This rate fell to just 5.31 percent in 2015.
The right to health care is one of the rights guaranteed by the Basic Law of Government. Article 27 of the law states that health care should be offered equally to men and women.
Saudi Vision 2030 states that women form an important component of the country's strength, accounting for more than 50 percent of the number of university graduates, and that work continues to develop their talents and enable them to have the opportunities to build their future and contribute to the development of society and the economy.


Sharqiah Season features interactive Van Gogh show at Ithra

A Vincent Van Gogh interactive exhibition opened at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) as part of the 17-day Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province. (Supplied)
Updated 14 min 25 sec ago
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Sharqiah Season features interactive Van Gogh show at Ithra

  • The initiative is lin line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program

DAHRAN: The story of Vincent Van Gogh has been brought to life in an interactive exhibition at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), through mesmerizing images projected on the walls and the voice of Lebanese actor of Jihad Al-Atrash.
Al-Atrash, who is famous for his role in “Grendizer” in the Arabic cartoon channel Spacetoon, narrates the story in Arabic, while Van Gogh’s famous paintings, such as “The Starry Night” and “Sunflowers,” fill the walls.
“It’s not only entertainment, it’s also cultural and educational,” said Khalil Itani, project manager of the exhibition, which is part of Sharqiah Season, a 17-day festival that’s taking place in the Eastern Province.
“There will be an English voiceover soon. The 30 minutes and 40 seconds describes the important timelines of Van Gogh, his struggles and achievements, his thoughts. He was an awakened and spiritual person, but he was very sad; no one understood him. Also, the voiceover explains each phase of his life and the most important paintings of his, and explains these paintings and their story, and the techniques and colors.”
Itani told Arab News that many artists have visited the exhibition. “It’s very inspiring too for artists to know how he lived — this is the added value of the Van Gogh exhibition in Ithra.”
Raghad Al-Blowi, a 20-year-old Saudi visitor, said that Van Gogh was one of her most cherished artists, and her favorite painting is “The Starry Night.” Commenting on the Arabic narration, she said: “It makes visitors really get into it in Arabic more. Locals can understand and learn about Van Gogh.”
Colombian visitor Audrey Rincon said that she also enjoyed the exhibit. “It is different from the usual exhibitions, because the paintings are displayed in an interactive and creative way. And he is my favorite painter. I love the colors he used in his paintings, and ‘Sunflowers’ is my favorite painting.”
Sharqiah Season is organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in collaboration with the General Entertainment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Culture Authority. The initiative is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to improve the quality of life for Saudis by providing enriching cultural pursuits and shows.
The festival, which began on March 14 and runs until March 30, has seen more than 80 entertainment and sporting events take place across nine different cities.