* Won’t be long before they all need male guardians now:
National Council for Women’s Organisations deputy president Faridah Khalid (left) and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Â NST online
These were some of the words used to describe the proposal by the Foreign Ministry that women leaving the country alone be required to have declarations from parents or employers stating the reason for their travels.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said yesterday he had submitted a proposal to the cabinet.
The proposal drew flak from non-governmental and women’s organisations, with their representatives making clear their outrage.
National Council for Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) deputy president Faridah Khalid called the proposal “backward and unfair”.
“This is an infringement of our rights,” she said.
“We’re the victims and now you’re creating more problems.
“Why must you put more restrictions on women?
“We have worked hard over the years to get to this level.”
Faridah said the government should think it out properly before taking such measures.
* The article ends with this gem:
She said, however, that the proposal was generally good as it took into account the safety of Malaysian women.
Â * Because its in the ‘glorious hadith’, and who would doubt what must not be doubted:
Â the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A woman must not travel for three days except with a minder”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 1036 & Sahih Muslim).
The House of Saud, in alliance with an extremist religious establishment which enforces the most restrictive interpretation of sharia, Islamic law, has created a legal system that treats women as minors unable to exercise authority over even trivial daily matters.
The most egregious consequences of this repressive regime occasionally filter out from the Gulf Kingdom: the notorious case in Qatif of the girl who was jailed after being gang raped on a charge of consorting with a male non-relative; the schoolgirls believed to have burnt to death in Mecca as religious police would not let them leave the fiery premises without headscarves; or the happily married Fatima Azzaz from Mansour, forced to divorce her husband at the whim of her half-brothers.
Beyond these high-profile cases is a demoralising and sometimes ridiculous reality in which women cannot open bank accounts for their children, take them to the dentist or even on a field trip without the written permission of the father.
Petty humiliations are endemic. Two women who spoke to HRW said, in a report released today, that judges had refused them the right to speak in court as their voices were “shameful” â€“ only their guardians were allowed to speak on their behalf. Saudi courts require a mu’arif (a male to identify her under the full face veil) before a woman can even attempt to testify.
“The Saudi government sacrifices human rights to maintain male control over women,” said Farida Deif from HRW. “Saudi women won’t make progress until the government ends the abuses that stem from these misguided policies.”