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Saudi Arabia Launches Girls' Council To Empower Women At All-Male Event

03/15/2017 10:33 EDT | Updated 03/15/2017 10:33 EDT

For a country that's known for its lack of women's rights, the launch of Saudi Arabia's first ever Girls' Council, to discuss the welfare and empowerment of girls, was a promising initiative.

But the issue here? Well, the photo below says it all:

Yup, that's 13 men on stage at the first Qassim Girls Council meeting, and not a single female in sight.

The meeting was led by Prince Faisal bin Michal bin Saud, and his wife, Princess Abir bint Salman, is the head of the council.


According to ABC Australia, women were in another room at the event, linked in via video due to the strict Saudi laws on gender segregation between unrelated men and women.

"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," Prince Faisal bin Michal bin Saud said at the event.

Out of the 145 countries that are part of the World Economic Forum's 2016 Global Gender Gap report, Saudi Arabia places at number 141 when it comes to gender equality ratings. This is partly due to the fact that women are not allowed to drive in the country and they must have permission from a male guardian to work, study, travel or marry.

The viral photo is also being compared to another image from this year that did not include a single woman in the photo:


Interesting.

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