Saudi Authorities Denied Nigerian Muslim Women the Right to Worship Unless…
CDHR’s Commentary: As portrayed in this article, the Saudi male-dominated cultural and political mores and practices, especially as they relate to women, are overstepping all borders of man-made and divine laws, including denying women their God given right to fulfill their religious obligations. One of Islam’s five pillars is the pilgrimage to Mecca by all “able bodies” at least once in one’s lifetime, known as the Hajj. A group of Nigerian women embarked on an expensive and long pilgrimage journey to Saudi Arabia to perform one of their religiously commanded pillars, but were held hostage at the port of their arrival in Saudi Arabia and deported back to Nigeria because they were not chaperoned by male relatives as the Saudi system demands of all women, regardless of their status within the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is the only country on earth where women’s movement, education, work, marriage and health are controlled by men under a denigrating system of institutionalized male guardianship. This system is designed to render women as perpetual minors, regardless of how educated, achieving, intelligent, old or rich they may be. Even though this system is attributed to tradition and religion, it is purely crafted and put in place by the Saudi authorities for political and economic reasons. Now the Saudi autocratic and theocratic rulers are enforcing their contempt for women on other societies worldwide.
By insisting on its bigoted policies against women, the Saudi regime is contributing to the divisiveness and instability of the country. Millions of educated and aspiring Saudi women are challenging the Saudi regime and its zealous religious establishment’s primordial policies and practices against gender equality. Women are demanding full citizenship including full employment, equality in the state’s segregated educational system, voting, driving and removal of the denigrating male guardian system, which the Saudi authorities used to deny the Nigerian Muslim women the right to perform Hajj, pilgrimage.