Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SA: Minister Needs Permission For TV Appearance

From the Mail Online:
Saudi Arabia may have nominated its first ever woman cabinet minister - but she cannot appear on television without permission, it has been revealed.

Noura al-Faiz's appointment in February as deputy minister for women's education was hailed as a huge step for the integration of women in conservative Saudi Arabia, where a puritanical form of Islam bans women from driving, voting and mixing with unrelated men.

'I don't take my veil off and I will not appear on television unless it is allowed for us to do so,' Faiz told the daily Shamss, which published a picture of the deputy minister wearing a headscarf with her face showing.

Wajeha al-Huwaider, an outspoken advocate of women's rights in the country, welcomed her appointment.

She added that it was unclear if al-Faiz will have any real power, or if she will follow the path of other Saudi women who had been appointed to lower councils but were never heard from.

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