Traditional human rights groups have long documented the repression of LGBTQ activists in the Middle East. These efforts, unfortunately, have not translated into the improved status of innocent men and women who dare to openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. One human rights activist has taken a different approach.
While the driving ban has lit up the Internet, it is only a symptom of a system that is insufficiently responsive to widely-held Saudi opinion on matters of governance. For the Saudi judicial system to show itself to be truly independent, it should support a more open discourse on future social and legal policy in the Kingdom.
With the absence of labor rights in the Gulf under fire as a result of Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, Gulf states are likely to take heart from a recent study that asserts that authoritarian regimes in the oil-rich Middle East and China have contributed more to the eradication of global inequality than Western nations.