Thursday, November 08, 2012

Saudi advisory body puts women members behind a screen

Too funny:
A Saudi official says a screen will separate genders on the country’s main advisory body to King Abdullah when women join it for the first time.

Following a decision by Abdullah, women will be allowed to join the Shura Council, his main group of advisers expected to reconvene early next year. The format is seen as a compromise with hardline Islamic factions that oppose even small reforms in the ultraconservative kingdom, where sex segregation is a widespread custom.

Abdullah has pledged to allow women to vote and run in the next municipal elections in 2015. But Saudi women still face many restrictions, including a ban on driving.

The official, quoted in Al-Watan newspaper on Wednesday, says an internal communications network will allow men and women to communicate despite the barrier.
If this "communications network" is text-based, that last paragraph implies that the women wouldn't even be able to speak from behind the screen.

Here is a screen separating men from women at a Saudi McDonalds:

Doesn't the male worker behind the counter still see the female customers?

I guess he is a foreign worker.