What was supposed to be a monumental event for Saudi Arabia turned sour when a photograph of the launch event for the country's new Qassim Girls' Council went viral.
The Girls' Council is a first for the country, but from the looks of the initiative's first event, they're missing a critical element: women. In the photo, which has been causing a stir on the Internet, 13 men appear on stage--but there's not a woman in sight.
People were quick to pick up on the irony of the situation, and the Tweets started almost immediately. Though the council clarified that women are, in fact involved, they said that all female members of the panel were kept in another room and contributed via video conference.
The council is led by Qassim Governor Prince Faisal bin Michal bin Saud, who spoke to BBC about the group: "In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls," he said.
Though it marks a major step for the nation, not everyone was happy about the lack of representation at the event.
Satire? Comedy? No. This is actually happening: The very first meeting of the first "Girls Council" in Saudi Arabia... with ZERO girls. pic.twitter.com/MPmHsr9FCO— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) March 13, 2017
Saudi Arabia's Qassim Women's Council...— Kareem Chehayeb | كريم (@chehayebk) March 14, 2017
Wait a second. pic.twitter.com/MocKjWlxWC
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia the Qassim Girls Council meets again to discuss women's issues.— Jonathan Nicholas (@JonathanNichol4) March 14, 2017
Too important for women to be involved obviously pic.twitter.com/7xKhKav9BV