In Saudi Arabia, recent changes to business regulations will now allow women to launch and register businesses by themselves. The Saudi Ministry of Commerce has simplified the procedures so that women can apply for and receive a business license and complete the registration process alone. Women will not be allowed to start businesses in some fields considered unsuitable for women, such as construction and real estate. Muhammad Atiq Al-Harby, the director general of the Ministry of Commerce, said, "For some businesses, women need the help of a man,” according to Arab News.
These changes follow a conference that addressed women’s rights and commerce issues in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this spring. The Gulf Businesswomen’s Forum was held at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry produced 11 recommendations to further protect and promote the interests and rights of women, according to Gulf News.
Women in Saudi Arabia face systematic discrimination and human rights abuses. Traditionally, women and children in a Saudi household are considered to be the “household property” of the Saudi male head of household, according to the US Department of State.
Media Resources: Arab News 7/7/2006; Gulf News 6/22/2006; US Department of State 8/2005
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .