Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Heroine: "Samia"

After years of failed appeals, Samia and the human rights society are gearing up to face the Saudi Supreme Court which, according to Amnesty International's Saudi Arabia researcher Dina el-Mamoun, will be a tough battle.

"It's difficult to win these cases because there are no clear guidelines in terms of what they have to prove. The judges have huge discretion in relation to these cases. The outcome really depends on which judge gets the case and who rules on it," says Ms Mamoun.

Samia's case is not a one off. Across the oil-rich desert kingdom, dozens of women are taking guardianship grievances to court. And they are gaining public support.

"I think in terms of public opinion, you do see a lot of sympathy with these women," says Ms Mamoun.

Samia, now 43, is still clinging to her childhood dream of having a family. Her special man, she says, is waiting for her and fighting bravely alongside her.

"I'm still dreaming," she says. "The flame will be alive until my death."

BBC News - Saudi Arabian woman challenges male guardianship laws

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