Saudi Arabia launches first anti-domestic violence ad

Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman: Under the kingdom’s legal system, women are treated as minors and are forbidden from traveling or working without the permission of their male guardians. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, Saudi ...

610362_saudiabuse2.jpg
610362_saudiabuse2.jpg

Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman: Under the kingdom's legal system, women are treated as minors and are forbidden from traveling or working without the permission of their male guardians. According to the World Economic Forum's 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, Saudi Arabia ranks 131st out of 135 countries when it comes to opportunities for women.

And yet, there have been small signs of change. Two Saudi women competed in the Olympics for the first time last year, and King Abdullah broke new ground by appointing 30 women to the consultative Shura Council this January. Now the kingdom has its first anti-domestic violence campaign: The ad above is from the "No More Abuse" campaign, which seeks to promote awareness of domestic violence and encourage citizens to speak out when they hear of it. The website promoting the ad features a list of phone numbers for Saudis to call in order to address cases of domestic violence.

The Arabic text in the ad translates roughly as "the tip of the iceberg." The slogan accompanying the English-language version of the ad features a play on words, given the niqab-wearing woman: "Some things can't be covered."

Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman: Under the kingdom’s legal system, women are treated as minors and are forbidden from traveling or working without the permission of their male guardians. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, Saudi Arabia ranks 131st out of 135 countries when it comes to opportunities for women.

And yet, there have been small signs of change. Two Saudi women competed in the Olympics for the first time last year, and King Abdullah broke new ground by appointing 30 women to the consultative Shura Council this January. Now the kingdom has its first anti-domestic violence campaign: The ad above is from the "No More Abuse" campaign, which seeks to promote awareness of domestic violence and encourage citizens to speak out when they hear of it. The website promoting the ad features a list of phone numbers for Saudis to call in order to address cases of domestic violence.

The Arabic text in the ad translates roughly as "the tip of the iceberg." The slogan accompanying the English-language version of the ad features a play on words, given the niqab-wearing woman: "Some things can’t be covered."

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.