Aug 1, 2005
In Saudi Arabia, women don't have the right to go out without being accompanied by a man from their family. As a result a young woman who just got her pilot's license was hired ... along with her father, in order that a man authorized by religious law to look after her would be present in the plane that she was flying.
The ridiculousness of the situation, organized by a wealthy member of the royal family who hired the pilot after financing her studies, was aimed at underlining the repressive situation that Saudi women are in. But this is as far as protests can go in Saudi Arabia – even when the protester is a member of the royal family! For ordinary women, no such possibilities exist. They can't even drive a car, much less have access to any advanced or technically skilled education!
Saudi Arabia – with its oil wells – is the faithful ally of the "Western" world. So Bush, Blair and other imperialist leaders who lecture other countries on democracy and progress shut up about its fundamentalist state religion and its monarchy. As long as the oil flows, the situation of Saudi women isn't worth worrying about. Western defenders of "democracy" are even less courageous than a Saudi prince.