Saudi Arabia: A New Take on the Rights of Women


Here is a unique and humorous approach to explaining the rights of women in Saudi Arabia.


“How to Not Get Punished for Being a Woman” is a satirical instructional video for Saudi women on what they are and are not allowed to do. The video, which is both darkly creepy and at points surprisingly entertaining, highlights both the violence implicit in the Saudi patriarchal system and the suffocating control that men there have over women. The video is also — and this is what makes the Amnesty TV series so unusual — disconcertingly funny.


14 Responses

  1. I started watching the vid with a frown on my face, but then it was quite a light-hearted represenation that forced me to giggle.

    As a saudi woman I was brought up to dislike any sort of ‘foreign’ criticism since it’s believed the West wants to change our religious and cultural values no matter what. Which is something I can’t completely deny, to be honest. So, I dont expect the the majority of saudi women to receive the video or any similar work without being offended and/or without feeling defensive. But that’s not the issue now, we will never see eye to eye. Nevertheless, before trying to change the laws it would be more effcient to change that fixed mind-set which promotes being lesser in rank or position than a man. I believe this is the source of our problem. When a man starts feeling that his female collegue/doctor/lawyer is an equal to him, we would have a better world! Funny though, how saudi men respect the western women who struggle to make a living, but if it were the saudi women in that position then you would hear a bit of degrading comments on her loose life. Bck to the video, it is exaggerating a bit though, I don’t think the situation is as bad as it’s depicted there, but maybe because women where I live have a better chance to voice their opinion, go out, party with friends and so on without being looked down upon as much as in other regions.

  2. @Saudi Woman – ‘it’s believed the West wants to change our religious and cultural values no matter what. Which is something I can’t completely deny, to be honest.

    Why can’t you deny that? You have sufficient ‘proof’ of this claim? Is it the WHOLE ‘West’ that wants this? I’m very curious what you (or they) think the ‘West’ would gain by changing your values?

    Would you also agree that the ‘East’ would like to change the “West’s’ religious and cultural values? I think you would find more evidence to support that theory than the other. No?

  3. This video would be cute and funny if it weren’t so sadly true.

  4. Everything sadly true- though it can be much worse than even that. I agree attitudes need to change- but there are women right now- in dire need of some legal protection regardless of the mens’ attitudes.

  5. In my opinion it is the idea of punishment that is the key to here. In the West if you wanted to go against the norm to try to change things you may have been looked down upon but you were not punished, at least no since womwnt got the right to vote. That is the key without the right to vote male or female you really have no say. it is hard to change things and it takes a very long time because of how we are raised. If you are raised to accept the status qup because of religion or by culture it is very hard to change. It was not until the 1960’s that the West saw major change and it was not until the 1980’s that most women could rely upon themselves. If the women do get the right to vote it will help, but on the other hand will they be able to vote the way they want or will they have to ask permission.

  6. I was waiting for the funny part.

  7. I’d “thumbs-up” your comment Robinrcks- if that were an option.

  8. @Robin..same here

  9. I think this video is trying to show the world and the Saudi Arabian government how ridicules their laws are. By the way all of the laws are true. I have aunts that would love to travel without their husbands but they won’t let them.

  10. I really appreciate hearing the perspectives of the Saudi women. Thank you!

  11. so true and a reality for many many women…

  12. I didn’t find this the least bit humorous either.

  13. I do not think that those who made this video thought is funny, but I think tongue and cheek which this is goes a long way in pointing out a major problem.

  14. The change is imminent not only the west but the women who are saudis themselves want it (look at women who want to drive and the ones who came in from west and live and are married to saudis , and the sauids that are liberal and love to be free) well at a workk place women and men can be equal whenthey do same kinda job what at home?

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