ECDHR in Conversation with Saudi Women – Recommended Readings


On September 6, ECDHR launched its podcast channel entitled ‘ECDHR in Conversation’. Its first season is devoted to Saudi women and will be composed of 5 episodes in which five brave and inspiring women will share their stories and experiences living in Saudi Arabia and then leaving the country, or never returning, in the hope of a better life. 

The human rights situation, and more specifically the women’s rights situation, is extremely preoccupying in Saudi Arabia. In addition, our participants touch upon a number of issues and concepts that are specific to the Kingdom such as the male guardianship system. 

This reading list includes suggestions from our interviewees, Shoaa, Sahar, Bethany, Hala and Lina, should you wish to expand your knowledge and understanding of Saudi Arabia, and in particular the challenges and difficulties that women face in the biggest country of the Arabian Peninsula. It includes NGO reports, articles but also novels and biographies. 


Abuses Under Scrutiny: Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, ALQST Annual Report January 2021 

General Account of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia


A Most Masculine State, Madawi Al-Rasheed

Gender, Politics, and religion in Saudi Arabia 


Boxed In: Women and Saudi Arabia’s Male Guardianship System, Human Rights Watch 

On the male guardianship system


Daring to Drive, Mana al-Sharif 

How the author stood up to an unjust law


Girls of Riyadh, Rajaa Alsanea, translated by Marilyn Booth 

A fictionalized account of four Saudi women’s quest for freedom and fulfillment 


On Dar Al Reaya  “care centres”, Ola Salem


Price of Honor, Jan Goodwin 

Interviews with women from 10 Islamic countries 


Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom, Ensaf Haidar & Andrea Claudia Hoffmann

A political refugee tells the story of her husband’s imprisonment 


Running for All the Right Reasons, Ferial Masry

The biography of a Saudi-born American politician 


Salman’s Legacy, Ed Madawi Al-Rasheed, 

Chapter on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia by Nora Doaiji


The Son King: Reform and Repression in Saudi Arabia, Madawi Al-Rasheed, 

Chapter on the women’s rights movement and the kafala system


Veiled atrocities, Sami Alrabaa

True Stories of oppression in Saudi Arabia