A Saudi Association for Education & Psychology (GESTEN) of King Saud University official conference's schedule and poster prompted many angry reactions on social media, for having hidden faces of all female participants.
Translation: "Who hid women's faces for the Kind Saudi University GESTEN 2020?"
Social media commentators expressed their frustration with yet another event that doesn't treat Saudi women as equals, only showing men's faces on its official publications.
العجيب ان عنوان المؤتمر هو تعزيز الشخصية السعودية لمجتمع حيوي!?— سعد (@Gentleman808) March 4, 2020
إذن كيف نكون مجتمع حيوي والإسلاموي مازال يطمس وجه مرأة مكرمة معززة؟!!
Translation: "It's ironic that the conference's title is supporting the Saudi presence in a vital community. How can we be a vital community and those Islamists are still hiding a decent woman's face?"
وهل المرأة حضرت وشاركت بدون وجه في << جستن جامعة الملك سعود>>؟!!— فهد بن مفرح العبيدي (@Binmufarrh) March 4, 2020
جرمتوا عدم إظهار الوجه في صور اللوحة الدعائية للمؤتمر وصرفتوا المشاهد عن المعنى الأسمى للمؤتمر وهدفه المعلن، ارتقوا بعناوينكم إلى مستوى المتابع الواعي والطموح لتحقيق التقدم مع المحافظه على القيم والمبادئ المجتمعيه.
Translation: "Did women not have their faces showing during the conference? You've criminalized women's faces in the conference's brochure and distracted viewers' attention away from the conference's purpose. You need to live up to people's level of awareness and ambitions while you maintain social values."
Even though this is not a new practice in conservative societies especially in Saudi Arabia, the strong reaction against the poster comes at a time when Saudi women are gaining more and more rights under the country's most recent set of social reforms that were initiated by the young crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman since 2017.
Ever since Saudi women older than 18 have been granted the right to drive, in addition to their right to travel without an approval issued by a male family member.
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