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Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

1.3         Introduction

Globalization has changed the concept of society, while the women rights are remaining constant or growing worse in many parts of the world. Woman in this day and age are denied their fundamentals rights to enjoy a complete life without being neglected or stepped in many aspects of life. Above and beyond that, Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that the woman has been treating violently and passing through many difficulties, such as forbidden to vote, not having the right to drive, they have been refused to access the political participation and education. Around the world the deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and woman are the one who are disallowed to make personal choices for their lives. Many countries have this perception, such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Iran and so on. Besides that, the negligence of participations of women have pass for many years as illusion in peoples mind.

1.4         Problem Statement

Women’s movement and participation in society of Saudi Arabia is very limited for a couple of reasons such as Sharia (Islamic low) and tribal culture. They don’t have the authority to leave their houses without the permission of the company of mahram (close male relative). Furthermore, female gender in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive which makes the Saudi Arabia the only county in the world that prohibits driving for women. Besides that, they also are discouraged to take public transport as it results in illegal mixing with non- mahram man. Another big issue in Saudi Arabia was domestic violence against the women which was seem as traditionally accepted and not a criminal matter until now. Very debatable issue is also employment for the female gender in Saudi Arabia, with the lowest percentage consisting of 17% work place for women.

1.5         Argument 1- Women are forbidden to drive

The most well-known country in the Muslim world is Saudi Arabia which is the only state that women forbidden to drive the car. This happened because of people’s mentality which has been brought year by year until the present. Additionally, the life in this country looks abnormal, when you compare with other countries, such us America, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Albania and Turkey. The life goes like this, one family will own multiple cars and they will hire a person that he might be from different part of the world and his responsibility is to take the children and send to school and the women to the their job or their needed place. These kind of situations happen because the brothers, fathers and husbands might not be all the time around the house and be able to full fill women’s necessities.

Furthermore, currently there are not any public transportation for women’s today and the distances between landmarks such as hospital, stores and schools are quit far from the houses. Besides that, some of the women who drove during the year 1990s were arrested and also fired out from their current jobs.Above and beyond that, some religions authorities have decorated that the women should not drive for the reason that, when they drive a car involves uncovering the face, driving the car might lead the woman to hang out more often, also it might lead them to have interaction with non-mahram man (man that you are allowed to get married).

However, some critics they reject that driving is not supported by Quran which makes their perception just an illusion followed by tradition. In addition, the king of Arabia Saudi has said that he will encourage the women to drive when the society will be ready for it. He stated that” I believes strongly in the rights of women. My mother is a woman. My sister is a woman. My daughter is a woman. My wife is a woman. I believe that one day will come when the women will drive. This issue requires patience and I believe that it will be possible”.

1.6         Argument 2- Domestic violence against the women

Violence in the families is one of the biggest issue going around the world. Aggressiveness against the woman and children was seen as traditional in several countries, this was because of their mentality that the man is the only one that should be considered as the head of everything and the woman does not have the right to be in contradiction with the words of the man. This mentality have been seen as traditional and nobody have taken any action to discontinue that.  Besides that, the inequality between the women and man has made cases to become common in each Saudis family. Additionally, Saudi Arabia seems to be one of the country with the high domestic violence against the women, including the children.

However, this problem is seen as normal issue and not seen as criminal matter in Saudi Arabia. The country have tried to do something by giving some suggestions to improve the living style. One of the people who has power over the Saudis citizen, the Prime Minister suggested to create a strategy in order to deal with the violence in the families. With his speech that have been considered by the citizen of the country, via 2013 a big change has happen, Saudi for the first time launched the first major effect against domestic violence.

Furthermore, in august 2013 the low has approved that making domestic violence is considered as criminal offence. The low in Saudi Arabia calls for punishment up to one year and also to pay up to 50.000 riyals (US$13.000). The punishment given to the rude people will make Saudis citizen to become aware and not do any other domestic violence against the women. Additionally, United Nation is one of the largest organization in the world which stands behind the women’s rights, by encouraging them to engage in the society and stand for their values and rights.

1.7         Argument 3 – Many unemployment women in Saudi Arabia

Saudi woman are facing another problematic issue which is unemployment. The percentage of women that are unemployed is rising day by day. These kind of situations are happening because of their wrong perception about the role of female gender in the family. Besides that, to assure that the women are not born to work, the Saudi families will taught them since in their adolescent age how to rise the children, how to take care about the husband and how to be housewife. According to the Saudi cultural, women’s place is at home taking care about the family and the man’s place is workplace, working to provide the family.

Moreover, Islamic Low in Saudi Arabia allows women to work but in specific workplace such as baby sister with children, doctor, nurse, and teacher or in few other places where no interaction with opposite gender. Nevertheless, they are not stimulated to work in public places such as companies, hotels, industries and so on.On other hands, women are allowed to work if the male guardian, such as father, brother, or husband otherwise if they don’t get their agreement they are not permitted to work.

Stated from sharia (Islamic low), some institutions and individuals have been claiming that the woman are not encouraged to work outside because this is against their natural state. According to some statistics release by the Ministry of Labor, shows that the unemployment among Saudi women have been increased 2.3 percent by the year 2012. Stated by Amal Sheera, deputy chairman of the Human Rights Committee, says “I believe that the rate of unemployment among Saudi woman increased in 2012 is due to certain obstacles faced by working women in Saudi Arabia”.

1.8         Conclusion

In conclusion, women rights have been neglected or stepped by many countries, especially one of the Middle East country, Saudi Arabia. This has happen due to many factors such as culture, religion, mentality and so on. Arabia Saudi is one of the countries that does not give the proper right to the women. Base on their mentality and their tribal culture, women are not allowed to drive the car or any vehicle because if the woman will drive they should uncover their face and have interaction with non-mahram man. Another factor is, they are not encouraged to work in public and private sectors because this is against the sharia (Islamic low). Lastly, apart from being stopped and forbidden to do something, the women in Saudi Arabia have faced also violence from their opposite gender, this has happen because the people have not considered the violence or being rude against the women as criminal matter but just like cultural matter.

1.9         References

Wikipedia. (2011). Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

Jiffry, F. (2013 August, 27). Rate of unemployment Saudi women up 2.3% in 2012.

Jeddah: Arab news.

Al Arabiya. (2012 June, 11). High unemployment among Saudi female university graduates.

Al Arabiya news.

Bager, J. (2013 October, 25). Forbidden to drive: A Saudi woman on life inside the kingdom.

Time ideas: Middle East.

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