My image of Saudi women was so wrong, says Italian journalist

Updated 12 April 2018
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My image of Saudi women was so wrong, says Italian journalist

  • Allegra Salvadori says her preconceived ideas about Saudi were changed as she watched the views from the car
  • Gender inequality is real says Salvadori, in pay, in jobs - but it's a global issue

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia: When Allegra Salvadori stepped off a plane at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning from Dubai to Jeddah, she had no clue her entire perception of Saudi women would be changed at the Arab Women Forum.
 
The Italian journalist and Italian Senate candidate told Arab News she could have slept for an hour on the way to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Rabigh, but said she experienced the jitters at the prospect of coming to Saudi Arabia for the first time.
 
“I had been given the wrong image of Arab women, which had been portrayed by the media – it was the wrong concept and a misrepresentation, especially in Saudi Arabia,” she explained.
 
“Instead, it’s very nice to come in person to witness that things are different. I’m only here for a day but it’s a very rich day because I’ve had an opportunity to talk to clever women that stand out, who’ve created opportunities for themselves and know exactly what they want and know that there’s a vision to what they want to achieve.”
 
Salvadori admits the gap, whether in gender equality or salary equality, is a global issue, and it exists in Italy as well, whether in poor political representation and women’s roles. It is only being discussed more in Saudi Arabia because it is a country that is undergoing major changes, making it more evident.
 
There is not one right way to solve it either, Salvadori said. “The problem is the same worldwide, but countries approach it differently.”
 
As an experienced woman in the field of journalism, having written for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and Huffington Post, she advises Saudi women who are boarding the male-dominated media train to remain truthful.
 
“Things are always changing, so never follow what’s already been said. Witness the change. Be the change. Sometimes, there are restrictions, dangers, and things that can’t be told or written, and it’s the same all over the world, but always follow your instinct.
 
“As journalists, we are informing people and if we tell it in the wrong way then we’re creating a vicious circle and affecting culture.”
 

  • Allegra Salvadori spoke at the Arab Women Forum on Tuesday about Political Representation; she is a senate candidate of the Italian Republic in Africa, Asia and Australia, and represents over 270,000 of her people in these continents.


 


Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

Updated 26 April 2018
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Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

LONDON: Facebook will introduce new measures to boost transparency around adverts in Britain by June this year and require political ads to be clearly labelled, the firm’s Chief Technology Officer told a British parliamentary committee.
In a written submission to the UK parliament’s media committee, Mike Schroepfer said those wanting to run political adverts would have to complete an authorization process and the messages would also have to display who paid for them.
Facebook has said that the personal information of about 87 million users might have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign.
Lawmakers have also raised concern over the use of social media in Britain’s referendum decision to leave the European Union in 2016.
“I want to start by echoing our CEO, Mark Zuckerberg: what happened with Cambridge Analytica represents a breach of trust, and we are deeply sorry. We made mistakes and we are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Schroepfer wrote.
Earlier this month, Zuckerberg apologized to US senators for issues that have beset Facebook, including shortcomings over data protection.
But the 33-year-old Internet mogul managed to deflect any specific promises to support any congressional regulation of the world’s largest social media network and other US Internet companies.
Schroepfer, who was appearing before the British media committee on Thursday, said it was clear Facebook had not done enough to ensure its tools from “potentially being used for harm” or take a broad enough view of its responsibility.
“That was a mistake,” he wrote.