12:27, August 05 32 0 theguardian.com

2019-08-05 12:27:07
It’s oppressive not strict in Saudi Arabia

Your article “Saudi women ‘no longer need male approval to go abroad’” (2 August) struck the wrong note for me. It referred to the “strictest controls” over women, which seems to rather understate the nature of the situation and existential impact on the suffering of women there. Could I suggest that it would be more appropriate to describe the controls as “oppressive”? Perhaps this is a silly quibble, but the words do give a different flavour. For example, a “strict” diet might even be a good thing in certain circumstances. Using a word like oppressive makes the point that the situation has no redeeming features and can’t be justified in any circumstances. Of course, I’m glad if the article is correct in suggesting that some of the worst features of the system there are being changed.

Emma Laughton

Colyton, Devon

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