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I am 17 years old and i already know that i want to make a difference in the world for women. I recently read a book called Princess that describes the hardships and oppression of women in Saudi Arabia. The book made me vomit; it is the most difficult thing i have ever read.

Therefore, i now feel obligated to take action more than ever, but i dont know where to start, who to write to, what steps i should take... why is america on speaking terms with Saudi Arabia, a country that severely violates human rights? Why are people not screaming and crying out for those women? how can i laugh and smile and be happy while this is going on? i feel like im going crazy. please, i need your help. tell me what to do and i will do it - as long as one person is not free, no one is.



Dear Erin,

I actually don't know much about the situation in Saudi Arabia, except having a friend who use to live there.

It is quite oppressive, I remember when my friend would return there she couldn't drive, or drink -- everything she could do here, but out of respect for the culture, stuck to there rules. She was a western woman living over there. I think that it's important to not compare our lives to theirs -- we each have different standards/asperations and most of them wouldn't want what we have and certainly seem themselves as having different privileges than the ones we have. It's instinctual for us to look and see that they have less, but they have more in other ways -- or at least many of them see it that way.

That said, however, there are other parts of the world where women don't, including in the US. It sounds like you want to get more involved in international issues -- if yes, perhaps try Equality Now and also the Feminist Majority Foundation. I hope that helps.

Good luck,

-- Amy

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