Readers must have been following the case of the Saudi rape victim who was, in a perversion of justice, sentenced to 200 lashes for being in a car with a man not related to her, when the rape occurred. She was sentenced to 200 lashes? Yes, you heard that right. Since Saudi law prohibits women (and men) from interacting with unrelated members of the opposite sex, she was considered a law breaker herself, not a victim, and sentenced to 90 lashes. Which was then, increased to 200 as a punishment for publicising it in the media.
Now it appears that King Abdullah, the current Saudi ruler, has pardoned the woman, while strenuously maintaining that the justice meted out was not unfair. Its just his prerogative you see, to pardon people, it doesn’t really mean anything.
I believe that almost all religions (or the customs through which they get defined) are oppressive to women. But where the state actively colludes to enforce this oppression, there is little hope except in the form of such knee jerk reactions.