Saudi Arabia legally requires women to cover themselves in public by wearing long black cloaks known an abayas.
Traditionally, women are expected to wear some kind of headscarf or hijab and some opt to cover their face with a niqab leaving a slit for their eyes.
A recent video posted online of a woman wearing suggestive clothing at an historic landmark near Riyadh, created a lot of controversy. Some Saudis called for the woman to be arrested and put on trial.
Police detained the woman but when it was determined the video was published without her knowledge, she was released.
Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s strictest laws for women requiring permission from a male guardian to do such things such as work or travel and women are prohibited from getting driver’s licenses.
In recent years, women have been granted more freedoms including the right to vote. The appointment of the new crown prince brings promise of change.
Tonight’s panel takes a look at the changes and challenges for millions of women in Saudi Arabia:
- Maha Akeel, a journalist and author
- Fatin Bundagji, a former appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Fatimah Baeshen, the director of the Arabia Foundation
- Moudi Aljohani, a Saudi Human Rights Activist