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Crosscurrents

Interview: What Saudi Arabian women have to say

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Image by Flickr user Youth Radio, under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / cropped and resized
Image source: http://tinyurl.com/hac483n

 

 

For decades, media has treated the Saudi Arabian woman as the posterchild for female oppression. But changes in the Kingdom are now challenging that image.

 

 

In 2011, the late King Abdallah, a reformer, granted women the right to vote. Two years later, Saudi women were given seats on the Shura Council, or the Saudi Parliament. Just last December, women voted for the first time and were allowed to join their local city councils. And the number of employed Saudi women has increased by 48% since 2010.

UC Berkeley journalism professor Cynthia Gorney was intrigued by this changing society, so she visited Saudi Arabia to spend time with the women there. She wrote an article for National Geographic titled "The Changing Face of Saudi Women."

CYNTHIA GORNEY: Women are telling me, you don't get it. You people don't understand who we are and what we want and how we think – and we're sick of it.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

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CrosscurrentsCynthia GorneyCrosscurrentsSaudi Arabiawomen
Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.