Hala Aldosari, a prominent Saudi woman academic in the United States, told Al Jazeera: "The government is trying to portray itself as reformist by tackling certain things that are visible to their outside patrons. "They need international businesses to recognise the leadership of Saudi Arabia as a reformer in order to show that they are not discriminating against women and are reforming their competitiveness. "But they are trying to pick and choose those kinds of reforms that they know will make a high impact on the international media and their allies, while at the same time silencing anyone within Saudi Arabia for demanding those reforms."