Saudi Arabia
From: Everywoman

Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

A new Human Rights Watch reports says women in Saudi are treated like children.

The Human Rights Watch report says women in Saudi
are treated like children

Saudi women and their male guardians

In Saudi Arabia, every woman has to have a male guardian, usually a husband or father, who makes critical decisions on her behalf.

She cannot get married, divorced, travel, get a job or an education without a man’s permission.

In many cases she cannot even get routine medical procedures without express consent from her guardian.
A new report from Human Rights Watch says women in Saudi are treated like children, and that government policy towards them results in daily abuses of their basic human rights. 
Shiulie talks to Farida Deiff, the author of this report, and to Wajeha Al-Huwaider, one of Saudi Arabia’s best known womens rights activists.

China – competing for a new face

Inspired by extreme makeover programmes produced in the US, we report on a reality show with a twist.

Young female contestants compete to see who is the ugliest and the prize is cosmetic surgery. It is part of the growing craze in China to go under the knife in pursuit of beauty.

May Seikaly

May Seikaly has gathered tales from Muslim
and Christian Palestinian communities

Stories of Palestinian struggles and experiences are passed down by mouth, told and retold to keep them alive in people’s memories.

Everywoman meets one woman who has gathered hundreds of tales from Muslim and Christian Palestinian communities, stories that she has been archiving for the past 20 years.
Professor May Seikaly is from the Wayne State University in Detroit in the US.

She joins Shiulie in the studio to discuss the importance of telling stories.


Studies suggest a doula reduces the need for
drugs and caesarians

Everywoman follows an expectant mother – and her doula –  as they prepare for the birth.

A doula is a birth assistant, someone trained to give practical and emotional support to women through pregnancy, labour, and the early days of motherhood.

Paying to have a doula is an increasingly popular trend in western societies, like Britain and America.

And studies suggest their presence reduces the need for drugs and caesarians, saving the health service millions of dollars.

But critics say they are a luxury only the middle class can afford.

Watch part one of this episode of Everywoman on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of Everywoman on YouTube

This episode of Everywoman aired on Friday, May 09, 2008

Do email us with your views, our address is or you can contact us by clicking on ‘Send your feedback’ at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page