Photographs from the first Qassim Girls Council meeting have emerged, showing an all-male panel without a single female. The first conference was led by Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, who said: “In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls.”
Reportedly, the women were in another room and were in conversation with the men via video as the meeting appears to have been gender segregated. The encouraging initiative for a country known for its limited women’s rights and gender segregation was not well received on social media due to the fact there seem to be no women present in the photograph.
Twitter responded: “Satire? Comedy? No. This is actually happening: The very first meeting of the first “Girls Council” in Saudi Arabia… with ZERO girls.”
— Rana H. (@RanaHarbi) March 13, 2017
Satire? Comedy? No. This is actually happening: The very first meeting of the first "Girls Council" in Saudi Arabia… with ZERO girls. pic.twitter.com/MPmHsr9FCO
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) March 13, 2017
People even compared the Girls Council to Trump’s signing the Executive Order on abortion.
— Séamus Kearney (@SeamusjKearney) March 14, 2017
Saudi Arabia launched a girls council without any girls. Saudi Arabia and the USA have a lot of things in common.
— God (@TheGoodGodAbove) March 14, 2017
Saudi Arabia may be seen be to loosening some of the rules on gender segregation, in an attempt to increase the percentage of women in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per cent as part of its Vision 2030 program.