Islamic Sharia law should not trump a treaty the Saudis signed. Or at least if they think it does, they should stop lying about it. “U.N. body calls for Saudis to end male guardianship,” by Stephanie Nebehay for Reuters (thanks to D. C. Watson):
GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights body called on Saudi Arabia on Friday to immediately end its system of male guardianship which it said severely limits the basic freedoms of women in the kingdom.
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, in its first scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s gender equality record, said Islamic Sharia law should not trump an international women’s rights treaty that Riyadh signed in 2000.
The committee’s 23 independent experts urged Saudi Arabia to “amend its legislation to confirm that international treaties have precedence over domestic laws,” and “enact a comprehensive gender equality law.”
They also said that Riyadh should “take immediate steps to end the practice of male guardianship over women” and work to eliminate “negative cultural practices and stereotypes” which discriminate against women. […]
But the Saudis, in full-bore “War Is Deceit” mode, say there’s no problem:
A report submitted by Riyadh on its compliance with the treaty said that generally there was “no discrimination against women in the laws of the kingdom.”
A Saudi delegation led by Zeid Bin Abdul Mushin Al Hussein, vice president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, told the committee during a recent debate: “Human rights in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia are based on Sharia law.” […]
The U.N. committee urged Riyadh to withdraw its proviso that Islamic law take precedence over the women’s rights treaty, particularly as Saudi authorities have given assurances that there is “no contradiction in substance” between the two.