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Saudi Arabia Launches Girls’ Council – Without Any Girls

Saudi girls wear the national flag across their shoulders during celebrations marking the 83rd Saudi Arabian National Day in the desert kingdom's capital Riyadh, on September 23, 2013. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

It was an encouraging initiative for a country not known for giving women a platform in public life.

But when Saudi Arabia wanted to show off its inaugural girls’ council in al-Qassim province, they overlooked one thing: the women.

Pictures released to mark the first Qassim Girls Council meeting showed 13 men on stage, and not a single female.

The women were apparently in another room, linked via video.

The male-dominated photos have been circulating widely on social media, after the meeting took place on Saturday.

It has been compared to another viral hit – an image of US President Donald Trump, surrounded by men, signing an abortion policy in January.

The Saudi launch was led by Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, the province’s governor, who said he was proud of the conference and it was the first of its kind in the kingdom.

“In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls,” he said.

The girls’ council is chaired by Princess Abir bint Salman, his wife, who was not in the photograph.

BBC

 

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