Women playwrights in Saudi Arabia have been excluded from a theatrical competition in the city of Medina.
Members of the Saudi Arabia Women Writers Association say they were never notified that the competition was so men only. Association head Jamal Al-Saadi said, “We have had multiple theatrical productions under Medina Society for Culture and Art and we had a great turn-out. The municipality rejected our participation in the competition because there wasn’t a panel of women judges.”
Medina Municipality Public Security and Social Services Director Muhammad Al-Murdif said details of the competition were left to the city’s experts. “We cannot have men judge a performance done by women."
Al-Saadi said that Al-Murdif’s explanation was just an excuse and that the real reason that women were excluded was because the municipality does not appreciate women writers and the art they have to offer.
“We have a great group of writers,” Al-Saadi said. “Not having women judges is not a valid excuse. They should have known that there is a great cadre of women playwrights and actresses who would want to participate in the competition.”