saudiarabiawomen saudiarabiawomen

13 posts   169 followers   0 followings

Women's Inequality in Saudi  By: Bailey

As a woman, having the ability to complete everyday tasks such as going to the grocery store, driving down the block, swimming, and having a bank account within in the jurisdiction of Canada is the norm. In many countries around the world to a certain extent, this is not the case. These examples of everyday tasks are forbidden for women in Saudi Arabia and they have been deprived of these freedoms permanently for thousands of years.

The major concern seen surrounding the issue of inequality for women in Saudi Arabia is whether or not the gap between men and women will diminish, or if there will be advancements in the women’s right and freedoms. Currently, the restrictions girls and women face are numerous. These restrictions are worrisome to the women because they appear incapable to their men. If this is to continue on, the rest of the world needs to step in and take awareness of the operations that are happening within Saudi.

Although no underlying cause is seen surrounding the entirety of the issue, there are many reasons why Saudi women are the victims of severe gender inequality within their country. Many people believe the absence of awareness the women have surrounding their rights, lack of education, and cultural identities of the Islamic religion are to blame.

Although Misbah lived in Saudi Arabia as a child she noticed the inequality women face.

The Sharia law states the unjust rules that women must follow. A few include, “A woman becomes subservient to her husband and needs his permission to: leave the house, take up employment, or to engage in fasting or forms of worship other than what is obligatory." Also, “Conservative ideas of gender roles are taken very seriously in Islamic societies. Under sharia, women have lesser inheritance rights compared to men, and lesser status as witnesses." And one final example the Sharia states, “In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive."

In Saudi Arabia specific implications such as political, economical, and social are all intertwined in an interesting way. From a political stance they have turned their extremist interpretation of Islam into a legal legislation. This is where the unjust rules and regulation for women are rooted. The Quran promotes much more equality for men and women, for example a verse states, “A woman is also a daughter and a sister and like her male brother is born of the same lineage and from the same womb” (Al-Mannai p. 83, Quran Explorer). The book presents women as equals to men, and if the nation were to truly follow this holy scripture, the discrimination against women would diminish. The sharia law is unjust and inaccurate with its rule, this law is composed of quotes from the Quran that has been taken out of context, and therefore the meaning has changed.

Socially, the Sharia twits the interpretation and turns it into there own bias that has shaped the lives of the women living in Saudi. Women are treated as second-class citizens, and have minimal rights that affirm their capabilities. Any female must have their body covered if in public, they are permitted from speaking in court, they must have a male guardian for most/all decisions, and there are no women on the Supreme Judicial Council. Women are also not able to work, Saudi has “reinforced the ban on women working in places where they will come into contact with men” meaning the wage gap is non existent.

There are many other Muslim nations that are under the Sharia laws, but they are on different levels of severity. Jordan’s dominant religion is Islam and their political structures are the same as Saudi’s, but they are not as strict. Jordan has embraced Westernization and integrated women and their rights into their culture resembling how we do in North America. They still value their Muslims religion; just not in the extreme way they have in Saudi. Farah lived in Jordan until she was 14 years old, she will now tell us about the cultural differences between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

There are many possible solutions regarding the issue of inequality for women, specifically in the stakeholder of Saudi Arabia. As previously stated, there needs to be an unprecedented action to take place in order for change to occur. But, there needs to be precautions set in place as well. There are specific limitations on the freedoms of women in Saudi, so if making progressions in their rights is occurring at too rapidly, it will decrease the possibilities of actually making a difference. I believe it could work if they targeted the direct areas of need and slowly but surely took action and reduced the implications that these women face.

Other nations in our world recognize this issue, and are promoting and endorsing possible solutions. For example, in 2007 Bill Gates was asked during the World Economic Forum whether Saudi Arabia would become a major economic competitor, he replied “If you’re not utilizing half of the talent in the country, you’re not going to get too close to the top." Through these simple acts of recognition I firmly believe progress has been made. In saying this, there has been many new initiatives and changes within Saudi that lessen the harsh rules against women and girls. Women were able to vote for the first time in 2015, and even more recently there has been a progression in the unjust laws that permit women from driving.

The issue is currently not at a stand still, through NGO’s such as the Association for the Protection and Defense of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia, and assistance from other countries I firmly believe a difference can be made.

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags