The move certainly is progressive for a country where women face restrictions on their basic human rights. However, the images of the meeting has kicked up a storm online after it was criticised for one key reason – women and girls were absent from the event.


It was later found that the meeting, which took place on Saturday was only attended by men, while the women participated via video link sitting in another room.

The viral image of 13 men sitting on the dais has gone viral. The event was presided over by Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, the governor of al-Qassim province, who praised the meeting as the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia.

"In the Qassim region we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel responsible to open up more and more opportunities in all that will serve the work of women and girls," he said, as reported by the Al-Araby media outlet.

Twitter, however, was not so kind. The social media users came down heavily against country.

"This is not a joke. I repeat, not a joke. The first meeting of the first "Girls Council" in Saudi Arabia," one user tweeted.

"Satire? Comedy? No. This is actually happening: The very first meeting of the first "Girls Council" in Saudi Arabia... with ZERO girls," another wrote.