CNN’s Brooke Baldwin was clearly astonished when a spokeswoman for the Saudi Arabian embassy defended the country’s oppressive rules against women.
Saudi Arabia finally granted women the right to drive this week, but according to Fatimah Baeshen, the first female spokesperson for the embassy, Saudi Arabia has been “leading up to” giving women rights for “a long time.”
“Reading though, on the laws, Fatimah, just to be frank, it’s wonderful for a woman to be able to drive, but she can’t even drive to a restaurant and eat with others unless there’s a family section,” Baldwin responded. ”
“I think there a lot of misconceptions about Saudi laws and about Saudi society,” Baeshen claimed. “There are Saudi women who have been productive citizens for decades…there are Saudi women who are rocket scientists, mountaineers.”
Baldwin couldn’t seem to believe her ears and cited the fact that women in the country cannot marry, divorce, travel, open a bank account, get a job, or get elective surgery without permission from a male guardian.
“I think there’s a bit of a misconception about the guardianship system,” Baeshen said, arguing that the law is not implemented strictly. “Saudi Arabia has made tangible strides in facilitating women’s rights in the public space and overall.”
“Thank you for interjecting and it’s just…I care for women,” Baldwin said incredulously.