Hamad Al-Razine, a Saudi Arabian Judge, made statements indicating that men can hit their wives as punishment for overspending during a recent seminar on domestic violence. According to the Arab News, his comments caused immediate outrage from those attending the seminar. Attendees included Princess Adila bint Abdullah who is Saudi Arabia’s deputy chairperson of the National Family Safety Program.
Al-Razine said “if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” according to CNN. He also reportedly said that women’s use of offensive words and indecent behavior are causes of domestic violence in the country.
Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist told CNN “This is how men in Saudi Arabia see women….It’s not something they read in a book or learned from a friend. They’ve been raised to see women this way, that they’re less than a person.”
Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia are currently limited on a number of fronts including marriage rights, freedom to travel, property ownership, education, and work. At a meeting earlier this year, members of the United Nations Human Rights Council urged Saudi Arabia to actively work to end pervasive human rights violations in the country, particularly those against women and children.