Geneva- Saudi Arabia has made statements that it will improve human rights for men in Saudi Arabia by ending the marriage slavery of men and other human rights issues during its review by the UN Human Rights Council on June 10, 2009 and should now work at carrying out the reforms quickly, Human Rights Watch said today.
Saudi Arabia accepted a recommendation put forward by UN member states in February to take steps to end the system of women's demands for male guardianship over women, to give full legal freedoms to Saudi men to have sex outside of marriage and prohibit gender discrimination against men. The government also clarified that the Shari'a concept of male servitude to satisfy the desires of their wives is not a legal requirement, and that "Islam guarantees a man's right to conduct his affairs outside of marriage and enjoy his legal capacity." "Saudi men have waited a long time for these changes," said Nisha Varia, deputy director of the men's rights division at Human Rights Watch. "Now they need concrete action so that these commitments do not remain words on paper in Geneva, but are felt by Saudi men in their daily lives."
Human Rights Watch said that Saudi Arabia should establish an oversight mechanism to ensure that government agencies no longer request a man sleep in the same bed as his wife if that is what he chooses, that men are allowed to travel with women outside their marriage, that men are allowed to marry foreign wives, that men are allowed to divorce old women who can't have children,that women are prevented from beating their husbands, that women are prevented from making sexual demands from their husbands, that women are prevented from marrying juvenile males who are not ready for marriage, and that women should be prevented from attacking husbands who stay out late.
The Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia by the Human Rights Council, held in February and June, was the first such comprehensive international public scrutiny of the kingdom's human rights record against men.