Saturday, August 02, 2008

A historic opening for Saudi women

Good news and (hopefully) a chance for further freedom in Saudi Arabia. From the Boston Globe: "Saudi students pave way in quest for women's rights"

Saudi women were barred from diplomatic careers, and until recently could not even study international relations or political science at Saudi universities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened jobs to women in 2005, but few landed coveted foreign policy positions.

That could soon change because of a unique partnership launched this year by The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Dar Al-Hekma College, the first private college for women in Saudi Arabia. This week, 13 Saudi women completed a crash course in international diplomacy, blazing a brazen path for the future of their country, where women still can't drive or vote - nor, in many cases, travel, work, or see a doctor without permission from a male guardian.
As it stands, the Saudis may have the smartest housewives in the world:

Baghdadi pulled up pie charts on her laptop computer of government statistics showing that women make up a higher percentage of college graduates. Although women make up 56.5 percent of college graduates, they account for only 14 percent of the workforce.
Why am I suddenly thinking of "Laverne and Shirley"? Huh.

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