Mariah Carey has taken some heat from women’s rights groups for a very specific reason. According to multiple reports, several prominent feminist organizations are not pleased that Mariah chose to perform in Saudi Arabia this past Thursday, a country in which women’s rights have allegedly not caught up to the rest of the developed world.
Organizations have accused Mariah of side-stepping or “airbrushing” Saudia Arabia’s terrible human rights record by agreeing to sing there. Carey was there alongside Balquees Fathi from Yemen, Sean Paul, and the infamous DJ, DJ Tiesto.
Mariah said she performed there as part of an effort towards gender desegregation in the middle east. However, clearly, her critics have not been happy with such an explanation.
Omaima al-Najjar, a Saudi woman who co-founded Women for Rights in Saudi Arabia, said that the government is using Mariah’s performance to distract people amid a climate in which people are upset about recent decisions made by public officials.
For instance, Saudi Arabia has been leading a war in Yemen and has committed horrendous human rights abuses over the years, including murdering journalists and affording more rights to men in comparison to women.
Moreover, campaigners have pointed to the fact that the Saudi government has even imprisoned activists in recent months, and that if Mariah was truly a female empowerment icon, she would stand up for the rights of females in the oil-rich nation.
Publicists working for Mariah said to reporters from The Associated Press that when she was presented the offer, she decided the best course of action would be to perform in front of a desegregated and mixed gender audience.
In essence, Mariah believes her choice to sing there is actually a step in the right direction. Additionally, Carey is actually the first international female artist to sing in front of a Saudi crowd.
This comes after Saudi Arabia apparently killed a journalist who was investigating government corruption. Moreover, the government has been accused of facilitating a war in Yemen in which many innocent people have been killed.