Women Under Siege

"Saudi society is based on masters and slaves, or, to be more precise, masters and maids, because the masters are the men, and the slaves are the women... The ownership of a woman is passed from one man to another. Ownership of the woman is passed from the father or the brother to another man, the husband. The woman is merely a piece of merchandise, which is passed over to someone else – her guardian. How do you recognize a maid or a slave? ... I believe that in general, for the Saudi woman, every day is a new battle. She needs to find ways to live on the face of this earth without colliding with the law, with men, with society, with the religious clerics, or with the political establishment. She is besieged. There are five types of shackles, or jails, for the woman – if she manages to escape one, she might enter another. The first is the tribe, then comes the family, then the religious institutions, the political establishment, and finally, society. Wherever you go, you encounter a battle. What are you to do?" - Wajeha Al-Huwaidar, Saudi liberal.