A Saudi Woman Fights Her Country’s Strict Male Guardianship Laws

canada goose coats When Saudi Arabia started allowing women to drive last month a historic shift in the last country in the world to ban women from getting behind the wheel Samah Damanhoori was watching closely from California. The 29 year old Saudi woman has a lot at stake. canada goose coats

Just a few weeks before the ban was lifted on what was officially known as “Driving Day,” June 24, Saudi security officials jailed more than a dozen women activists, some of whom have advocated for the right to drive since the 1990s. In what appeared to be buy canada goose jacket cheap a government canada goose coats sponsored, front page smear campaign, Saudi newspapers published the women’s names, claiming they were “traitors.”

buy canada goose jacket cheap “It’s horrifying and it’s very scary, what is happening right now,” Damanhoori says about the sweeping arrests of activists on unspecific charges. “We still don’t know why, why now, we still don’t have clear answers.” buy canada goose uk black friday canada goose jacket cheap

For Damanhoori, the driving reform something backed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, hailed as a progressive reformer by many supporters signaled that women drivers and canadian goose jacket women workers might be part of the kingdom’s plan to modernize and diversify the oil dependent economy. But it only went so far: Saudi Arabia’s sweeping guardianship rules remain in place. Every Saudi woman is required to have a male guardian a husband, uncle, son who makes major life decisions on her behalf, even if she’s an adult.

Canada Canada Goose Outlet Goose online Damanhoori has been speaking out against the guardianship Canada Goose online laws from San Francisco. Canada Goose online

Canada Goose uk canada goose sale “Women cannot cheap canada goose uk study, cannot work, cannot even travel without male permission or a male guardian; it’s as simple as that,” she says. Canada Goose sale

Canada Goose Jackets When she won a Saudi government scholarship for a graduate program at Notre Dame de Namur University in California, her father had to approve her enrollment and her application for a passport. Canada Goose Jackets

cheap Canada Goose She says her father accompanied her to California to enroll in her courses and gave permission buy canada goose jacket for her to stay on without a mahram, but when he got back to Saudi canada goose outlet Arabia, she says, he changed his mind. ‘Where is he?’ ‘Home.’ ‘Hmmm. Well, Samah, you father called us and asked us to cancel your scholarship because he no longer approves you studying here without a male companion. Is there a conflict between Canada Goose Jackets the two of you?’ ‘Not at all. I don’t know why canada goose uk outlet he canceled it since he’s the one who brought me here and signed I could be here without a mahram.’ ” cheap Canada Goose

Canada canada goose black friday sale Goose Outlet The Saudi embassy did not respond to an NPR request for comment. and cut family ties. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose clearance “It was really hard at the beginning, I lost myself, I lost the ability to form a whole sentence,” she says, describing those first months after she decided to stay in California against her father’s orders. “I came from a very strict country to a very free country.” https://www.canadagoosestorevip.com canada goose clearance

canadian goose jacket Her father Sameer Damanhoori, reached cheap Canada Goose by phone in Saudi Arabia, confirmed to NPR that he had canceled his daughter’s scholarship. canadian goose jacket

canada goose “That is our custom,” he said, referring to the rights that he has under the guardianship laws. canada goose

canada goose store He wants his daughter to come home and forget her education. and the college helped her find sponsors to pay for tuition and housing. After graduation in 2017, canada goose clearance she got a job in high tech. Her asylum claim is that the guardianship system puts her in danger. officials. canada goose store

She claims her father has been abusive.

He denies abusing his daughter, but says if she returns to Saudi Arabia, he will never give permission for her to leave again.

Canada Goose Parka Damanhoori now sees her role as an outside voice for Saudi women’s rights. She gives talks in the Bay Area, uploaded to YouTube to reach an audience back home. She’s regained her canada goose store voice, she says. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose clearance sale Canada Goose Parka “The more I spoke up the more I went in public, all the noises in my head just became lower,” uk canada goose outlet she says. “It’s really important to speak loud for these women who are being abused, to never give up.” canada goose clearance sale

canada goose black friday sale Women’s March Global, a New York City based international organization canada goose coats on sale that helps amplify women’s voices, is helping Damanhoori get her message out. The organization has collected more than Canada Goose sale 200,000 signatures to support the jailed activists in Saudi Arabia and has delivered the petition to the United Nations. canada goose black friday sale

canada goose coats on sale “It’s important to understand what’s she given up to step into this role,” says executive director Lara Stein. “But she understands that she’s canada goose uk shop one of the few canada goose clearance sale people that is able to have a voice, and I think at the end of the day, it’s a very courageous move.” canada canada goose factory sale goose coats on sale

canada goose deals Damanhoori recognizes the message Canada Goose Online of the activists’ arrests. New reforms in the kingdom don’t include political openings. Critical voices have been silenced. There is still, she says, a long road ahead for women in Saudi Arabia canada goose deals.