Judge Hamad Al-Razine advised men to slap their wives at a recent seminar in Saudi Arabia on domestic violence. Here’s what he 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.
Women in the audience booed…and rightly so. Arab News, which reported this, said that Al-Razine was trying to explain why domestic violence has increased recently when he made the comments. Al-Razine said that women and men shared responsibility, but also said that “nobody puts even a fraction of blame on women.”
According to Arab News, Al-Razine:
…also pointed out that women’s indecent behavior and use of offensive words against their husbands were some of the reasons for domestic violence in the country.
I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for 14 months many years ago. Every time I see stories like this, it makes me angry. This is yet another example of men…and this time validated by a judge…using violence to subjugate women. Women have little opportunity to be indecent in this country. They wear veils everywhere they go. They cannot socialize, attend classes, work, or even be seen with a man who is not their husband. When friends come to visit in homes, men socialize with the men in one room and women visit with the women in another room.
It’s a religion that men use to repress women and attitudes like the one this judge displayed…and at a seminar on domestic violence…that keep Saudi women from gaining basic rights and being free from domestic violence.
It’s never okay to slap a woman. NEVER.