This week on Act Out!, Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian, theocratic regime that routinely tortures, imprisons and executes dissenters. On top of that, they also are vehemently anti-woman. The guardian system in Saudi Arabia requires that a woman receive permission to do everything – from getting an education to traveling. Women are also not allowed to drive cars or leave the house without head-to-toe covering. When they do manage to make it out of the house, they are forbidden from interacting with men: all shops, transportation and public areas are gender-segregated. Based on this, it seems odd, even ludicrous, that Saudi Arabia would get a seat on a UN Council tasked with upholding and forwarding women’s rights around the globe. Not only did that happen, but Saudi Arabia also has a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Then again, so do the U.S. and many other human rights violators, from Brazil to China. What gives? Does this international body really work, despite its hypocrisies? Or could there be a better, more powerful iteration that actually holds human rights violators accountable, rather than periodically wagging a finger at them – then putting them in charge of human rights?
Next up, we talk to Move to Amend's national director Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap about a very unhappy birthday: namely, the 131st anniversary of the Supreme Court case that launched a series of precedents for corporate personhood. Kaitlin outlines the history, the present fight that Move to Amend is waging, and the role of Amendments in overturning the Supreme Court’s backwards thinking.