Viral Videos Reveal the Tragic Truth of Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia

These short videos published by Human Rights Watch reveal the grim practice of male guardianship that keep women under the hold of husbands and male relatives.

In one video, which has been viewed more than 430,000 times on Facebook, a Saudi woman is beaten by her husband and seeks refuge in a shelter only to be told to go back to her husband, continuing the vicious cycle of abuse.

The videos are being shared and discussed under the hashtag #TogetherToEndMaleGuardianship.

They follow a recent HRW report titled "Boxed In" that identifies Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system as the greatest obstacle toward advancing women's rights in the nation. Under the system, women are required to have male guardians in order to make important decisions like filing legal claims, renting an apartment, or obtaining a passport.

In another video published by the international human rights NGO, a female surgeon is unable to go to a conference because her son does not give her permission.

And in this video a young woman is released by a juvenile detention center to her mother, only to be sent back by her father.

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Photo Credit: Human Rights Watch/YouTube