Women’s Rights Protest in Front of Saudi Arabian Embassy

Women and human rights activists met in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in D.C. Saturday to protest the country’s treatment of women.  The Washington Times reported about the impending event Friday,



Supporters of women’s rights will hold a protest Saturday to denounce gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia.

“This may be like the pied piper for Islamic feminists,” said Fatima Thompson, a Muslim convert and a board member for the D.C. chapter of the Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), which is organizing the event. “They have created all these various organizations to promote women’s rights, so hopefully this will be a means to get us all together.”

The MPV, which is an “inclusive community” rooted in social justice, will hold the protest in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy.

The demonstration was being held as a precursor to the arrival of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who will be meeting with President Obama on Tuesday to discuss, among other topics, the state of women in Saudi Arabia.

Saturday June 26th, 2010, 1:30 pm in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20037
To denounce the confinement of Nathalie Morin and her children, and foreign nationals, in Saudi Arabia

Canadian, Nathalie Morin who is 26 years old, along with her three small children, has been held against her will in Saudi Arabia by her common-law husband since 2005. A victim of conjugal violence, confinement and abuse, Nathalie must return to Canada with her children. But in Saudi Arabia a woman must have the authorization of her male guardian to leave the territory and her aggressor will not allow this.

Gender apartheid and the male guardianship system of Saudi Arabia is a violation of women’s human rights and international law. As long as the U.S. and Saudi governments consider Nathalie and her children’s case a private affair, they will not deploy all efforts to ensure their safety and bring them home to Canada. During this time, Nathalie’s condition continues to deteriorate as the abuse worsens.

Nathalie Morin and her three children have been in Saudi Arabia since 2005, unable to leave without the permission of her husband, according to news reports.

The Canadian government says it cannot bring home a Quebec woman who claims her husband is refusing to allow her and her three children to leave Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon discussed the case of Nathalie Morin with his Saudi counterpart during a visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

After his return from Riyadh, Cannon said he considered the case to be a private matter that must be resolved by Saudi officials.

Saudi law allows a husband to prevent his spouse and children from leaving the country without his permission, Cannon said.

Nathalie Morin is not the only Canadian woman who had been trapped in the country.  Nazia Quazi, a dual Canadian-Indian citizen, had been unable to leave the country without the permission of her father, who did not approve of her finance.  She finally made it out of the country last month.

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cal shummon
cal Shummon7 years ago

Behind every good man is a great woman-Real Men know this
It is creator's Gift.Men Must Lead Accordingly,Love AND Respect to creator, creation all that is of the enlightenment of the light.
Holy Commander be praised.

Janice P.
Janice P8 years ago

I cannot understand why these kinds of situations continue to occur. Haven't there been enough news reports, books wriiten, films and documentaries made, for women to understand that once they marry a man from the Middle East - and especially if they travel to his home country with him - they are jeopardizing not only their own life and future, but also those of their children?

Think twice - three times if you have to - before marrying ANYONE, most especially someone from a culture that is so fundamentally and diametrically opposed to gender equality and human rights. Consider all the ramifications and possible consequences, and do NOT travel to a country where women are treated like chattel. Had that happened in this case, this poor woman would not be in this situation. As tragic as this is, the State Department cannot rush in to save every woman and her child from her own very, very poor choices.

I am not suggesting that we merely turn a blind eye to what is happening. I am, however, emphatically stating that incidents such as this, involving this Canadian woman, are some of the most easily avoidable problems.

beverly g.
beverly g.8 years ago

noted thks

Belinda Lang
Belinda Lang8 years ago

Years ago The U. S. State Department placed a warning on its website about American women marrying men from Islamic countries. Some criticized the State Department. Their culture and laws are so alien which some women were not aware of. As a Canadian citizen Nathalie has a right to be in her own country. This is an outrage.

Nellie K A.
Nellie K Adaba8 years ago

women's rights are human rights

Mabolsa Ritchie
Mabolsa Ritchie8 years ago

@ Barbara Kuyper-cross

Thanks for your kind words.

Lika S.
Lika P8 years ago

I like the protest for women's rights.

Why is the Canadian woman forced to live under this type of living? She is Canadian, and she is still denied access to leave Saudi Arabia w/o her husband's consent? Isn't that a form of kidnapping?

Cherry Marrone
Cherry M8 years ago

Interesting article, thank you.

Michele C.
Michele C8 years ago

Thanks for the info

Lindsey DTSW
.8 years ago

And it's really rather ironic - since so many Arabs and Muslims call strongly for the 'right of return' of Palestinian people to Israel. And yet I don't believe I'm hearing a chorus of condemnation against the Saudis from a great many in that corner for the Saudi refusal to allow a 'right of return' for this woman to her own homeland.

Wonder why?