Saudi Arabia unveils first anti-domestic abuse ad

Graphic campaign backed by charity features visibly battered woman in niqab
By Daniel Shane
Sun 28 Apr 2013 09:24 AM

Saudi Arabia has published its first advert intended to discourage domestic abuse against women and children.

The image, which has been backed the King Khalid Charitable Foundation, features a close-up of a woman wearing a niqab, with one of her eyes visibly bruised.

The advertisement’s text reads: “Some things can’t be covered – fighting women’s abuse together.”

Reports of violence against women in the Saudi Arabian press are frequent, with the perpetrators often being husbands or other family members.

Women’s rights in the Gulf’s most populous country, which practises an austere version of Sharia Law, are a frequent topic of discussion in the world’s media.

Females in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from taking up employment or leaving the country without a male guardian’s permission, while driving is banned altogether.

In recent years though there have been indications that absolute monarch King Abdullah has pursued a reformist agenda in terms of women’s rights.

In 2011, it was announced that women would be permitted to vote and stand in municipal elections from 2015, while in January 2013 30 women were appointed to the country’s legislative Shoura Council.

It was also recently announced that women would be allowed to practice law in a professional environment.

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