How can a diplomat from Saudi Arabia rape? How indeed!New Delhi: The embassy of Saudi Arabia in New Delhi is contesting the claims of the two traumatised Nepalese domestic help of being confined, raped, assaulted, sodomised by a senior diplomat of the mission along
New Delhi: The embassy of Saudi Arabia in New Delhi is contesting the claims of the two traumatised Nepalese domestic help of being confined, raped, assaulted, sodomised by a senior diplomat of the mission along with his 'friends' who probably were colleagues from work too.
No how could a diplomat from a country that is the citadel of religion be even remotely guilty of such a crime, seems to be the missions attitude reflected in its categorical denial of the girls allegations.
After all in Saudi Arabia sex outside marriage is strictly prohibited. And punishable, Besides women are not allowed to step out of their homes without the burqa where even their eyes are not visible. Why, in Riyadh they even have a shopping mall where single men are not allowed.
This logic only the Royal Family of Saud can explain, but yes the government does all it can to ensure that their men do not mix with the women who are curtailed by law from being too independent, a synonym for being enticing, alluring, even sexy!
A colleague in Medina was witness to his first encounter, albeit from a distance, about Saudi Arabia s 'concern' for its women.
It was a blazing hot afternoon. And he was surprised to find a woman sitting in the open section of a pick up van while the driver sat alone in the air-conditioned cabin. Why is she not sitting inside, he asked his driver.
Because he is not a relative of course, said the man. So obviously by law she could not sit next to him lest they be attracted to each other and violate the law.
Women have only now been given voting rights, as a major favour by the ruling Family that is being propagated as a major concession.
A favour perhaps? Women in Saudi Arabia live under a strict male guardianship system, where they are not empowered to take their own decisions, to travel, to marry, to divorce, to work without the permission from the guardian.
There have been any number of instances that have come to light, and clearly many more that have not because of the iron control exercised by the men in this society, of this guardianship creating havoc in a womans life.
Particularly when it comes to travel, work and more than that marriage and divorce.
Well known Saudi activist Al-Huwaider has compared male guardianship to slavery. She has written, "the ownership of a woman is passed from one man to another. Ownership of the woman is passed from the father or the brother to another man, the husband.
The woman is merely a piece of merchandise, which is passed over to someone else her guardian ."
The Economist points out that in a rare 2006 Saudi government poll found that over 80% of Saudi women do not think women should drive or should work with men.
However, this is directly contradicted by a 2007 Gallup poll which found that 66% of Saudi women and 55% of Saudi men agreed that women should be allowed to drive. Moreover, that same poll found that more than 8 in 10 Saudi women (82%) and three-quarters of Saudi men (75%) agree that women should be allowed to hold any job for which they are qualified outside the home.
However, there is evidence from local polls that the older women support these restrictions, although now the number of girl students in Saudi Universities has increased dramatically. And is probably the factor behind the decisions recently to allow the women to drive, and to vote.
The male guardianship system is so rigid that the victim of a gang rape was given a punishment of 200 lashes as she was travelling with a girl friend without a male guardian. This was in March this year when a Saudi Arabian court sentenced her to 200 lashes and six months in jail.
In a legal system heavily against the woman, another woman was sentenced to 70 lashes for insulting a man on WhatsApp. She was charged a hefty fine as well by the courts.
So sex has been pushed indoors, as the Saudi diplomat has so well demonstrated in New Delhi while the Royal Family convinces itself that it has managed to deprive its population of this freedom. Except of course for the married couples but who are stoned and sentenced every now and again for adultery. When caught, of course.