Maybe this is a first step at dismantling one of the harshest patriarchies on the planet?
Or maybe that as we pivot to a society of gender equality, we can suggest to Saudi Arabia that if they oppose genders mixing, then having a girls council should have just the girls. Leave the men out?
CAIRO — At first glance, it seemed as if Saudi Arabia was poised for a bit of change. With great fanfare, the governor of Qassim province announced the creation of a girls council — the first of its kind in the kingdom — intended to offer more opportunities for women and give them a voice.
It was an encouraging sign for a nation that regularly ranks near the bottom of global surveys on gender rights.
But there was one problem: When the Qassim Girls Council met over the weekend for the first time, pictures showed 13 men on stage — and not a single woman.
The women were in another room, linked through video. In Saudi Arabia, unrelated men and women are not permitted to mix — a state policy that is strictly enforced.