Women in Saudi Arabia's Advisory Body to be Separated from Men by Screen

by Kathy Jones on Nov 11 2012 6:57 PM

 Women in Saudi Arabia
When they join their country's main advisory body early next year, Saudi Arabia's women will be separated from men by a screen.
The move to allow women to join the advisory body has been deemed as a major step for women's rights in the country.

They will, however, only be able to debate with their male colleagues via an internal communications system.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz confirmed female members will be able to attend the 150-member Shura Council from early 2013, which act as formal advisory body to the King.

According to the Daily Mail, it is not yet clear how many women will be allowed to join the assembly, but the oil rich country is taking steps to improve the rights of women in the country.

Segregation between men and women in the country is widespread due to the ultra-conservative Wahhabi sharia law.

Restrictions on women in the country mean they are not allowed to drive, they must use separate entrances at banks and offices, and a plan to build a city for female workers only has been announced, the report said.

From 2015, it was announced by the king that women will be able to stand in the country's municipal elections, and while this move has been praised by the human rights groups, restrictions will still apply to women.