TORONTO (Aug. 29)
Charging that Saudi Arabia was “a Nazi Germany for women,” the American feminist leader, Gloria Steinem, said yesterday it was “outrageous” that the Carter Administration had failed to recognize Saudi subjugation of women as a denial of human rights. At a new conference here, prior to addressing the convention of the American psychological Association, Ms. Steinem cited the Saudi practice of “auctioning off women as chattel to their prospective husbands,” as one example of sex discrimination.
The deplored a statement by President Carter during his visit to the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this year, “when he stood in the company of the sheikhs and other government rulers and said how much ‘at home’ he felt.”
Ms. Steinem said she was particularly disturbed by current Saudi efforts to impose Moslem ideas about women on other countries that seek to do business with the oil-rich kingdom. “Not only do the Saudis oppress their own women, they discriminate in every way against women of other nationalities seeking employment in the Saudi kingdom,” she declared. The feminist leader and author observed that, while the United States has attempted to reduce anti-Jewish discrimination and to mitigate the anti-Israel policies of the Saudi regime, no similar effort had been undertaken by the White House on behalf of women.