As the only non-profit educational organization that is focused exclusively on the Saudi government’s domestic and foreign policies and their implications and ramifications for the Saudi people and the international community, CDHR organized two major events in July 2009.
As part of its ongoing educational activities, CDHR staff and supporters held a peaceful demonstration on July 27 in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate support for Saudi women’s call for the removal of the unnatural, unnecessary and destructive male guardianship system, which is sanctioned and enforced by Saudi authorities.
On July 29, CDHR hosted a unique and informative conference, “How Empowering Saudi Women Can Undermine Islamist Extremism,” held at the US Congressional Visitors Conference Center in Washington DC. CDHR brought together members of the US Congress, former US government officials and dedicated human rights activists including Muslim women and men to elaborate on the importance of empowering Saudi women, which in turn will ensure a stable society that will serve the best interest of its people and the international community.
The well-attended conference featured two panels where speakers addressed different aspects of Saudi women’s oppression and its implications for Saudi society and beyond. At the end of their presentations, the speakers made specific policy recommendations to be considered and carried out by the United States government. Prominent among these recommendations are removal of the male guardianship system, full employment opportunities, religious freedom, codified laws to protect women from discriminatory policies and the right to representation in the Saudi judicial system.
Speakers included Congresswomen Sue Myrick (North Carolina) and Congressman Dan Burton (Indiana), as well as Dr. Thomas Farr, Georgetown University; Ms. Farzana Hassan, Canadian Muslim Congress; Ms. Clare Lopez, former CIA official; Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, Director of Al-Quran Center; and Ms. Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch, director Middle East and North Africa section.