This post was originally published at the interrogations of shamshouma.
In the last few weeks, The Saudi TV channel MBC has been broadcasting an ad of a Saudi national breast cancer campaign, organized by Zahra Breast Cancer Association. Officially launched on October 10th, the national campaign is led by Princess Hessah Bint Trad Al-shaalan (the Honorary president of the Zahra Breast Cancer Association and wife of Kind Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz) and princess Rima Bint Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, aka Abdullah’ s daughter.
The campaign made a fascinating ad that quotes an interview (how recent it is I am not quite sure) by King Abdullah talking about the importance of women in Saudi society. If you have missed this absolutely amazing and ironic ad, you can watch it here: http://www.ckfu.org/vb/t235906.html
Basically, the advertisement starts with King Abdullah’s definition of what a woman is: “a woman is my mother, is my sister, is my daughter, is my wife. I am created from a woman” (This last sentence made me nauseous every time I heard it on TV. There was something about it that was just so wrong and yucky) then the ad shifts to the campaign’s slogan and main purpose: “because you are the foundation, and your life is precious to us, we beg you to do the preventive test for breast cancer”
The timing for this national campaign should first be noted. At the end of September, after a series of social movements and protests led by Saudi women to demand their basic social and individual rights, especially the campaign for driving in Saudi Arabia, king Abdullah announces a series of reforms for women, especially the right to vote and standing for elections , which will be effective in 2015.