The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Saudi Women (Hardcover)
Saudi women are the most powerful symbol of their rapidly-changing country. The Western political and academic debate has presented activists such as Loujain Al Hathloul and Samar Badawi as the heroic voice of all Saudi women. The Saudi government has focused, instead, on a nationalistic rhetoric that presents Saudi women as the willing, obedient, and heroic handmaids of the New Saudi Arabia who speak with the voice of the Enlightened Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Ironically, both approaches have silenced the people they are meant to empower, Saudi women. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Eyes of Saudi Women argues that Saudi women cannot be empowered by the imposition from above of Western-inspired reforms and that the future of Saudi Arabia is firmly grounded in its past. Anita Butera provides a unique account of Saudi women's voices and their dreams for the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The author concludes that MbS, by allowing the entrance of women into public space independently from men, has allowed Saudi women to start a silent revolution that is changing the patriarchal system of Saudi Arabia and challenging the masculine nature of Saudi power.
Anita C. Butera is assistant professor of criminal justice at Canisius College. She has lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and helped train the new generation of Saudi women lawyers. She is a member in good standing of the New York State Bar and is admitted to practice in Federal Courts.