Why And How Women Are Oppressed In Saudi Arabia

2642 words - 11 pages

Saudi Arabia is commonly known for its strict moral values and customs regarding religion and women. Gender discrimination is a global conflict but it is prevalently seen in Saudi Arabia. Gender discrimination is so poignant in Saudi Arabia because there are strict sets of moral guidelines and ideologies that Saudi Arabian culture implements on its people. Although Saudi Arabian men impose restrictions on women for the sake of upholding their cultural beliefs and family’s honor, there is no doubt that Saudi Arabian culture is male dominated and holds misogynistic views on women, but progress is being made.
Firstly, gender discrimination is not an exclusive feature of Saudi Arabia, but it is a more outwardly visible problem there. Gender discrimination and male superiority are most visible in Saudi Arabian culture because “inhabitants of the region where the Arabic language predominates are, despite their diversity, bound into a singular cultural unit with a particular gender system” (Tucker VII). If one group of Arabic individuals hold misogynistic views, or thinks that males are the superior gender, it is very likely that other Arabic individuals will as well. Individuals of the Arabic culture, regardless of their location share a particularly conservative and traditional set of moral beliefs the same way Christians from America may share similar beliefs with Christians from Europe. One belief most Saudi’s have in common is their “conservative view toward women” (Al-Mannai 82). Middle Eastern individuals know what behaviors to expect from each gender, and what each gender should and should not do. An effect of holding such a belief is that a man’s role in Saudi Arabia tends to be one of dominance and power; the male is the ruler of the house and the main source of income for the family, he has to be notified or asked for permission for virtually everything. A woman’s role on the other hand does not consist of such significance and does not grant the power that the male role does. Rather, the female role consists of women acting modest and submissively; women are expected to be confined to being in their home, care for their family and depend on their spouses’ or males relatives.
In order for Saudi Arabian culture to have adopted such a mentality they must have had large amounts of people - particularly males - with the same belief in extreme modesty and male superiority. If at the inception of the Saudi Arabian culture individuals believed females were inferior to males, Saudi Arabian culture must have adopted policies that implied male superiority and misogyny. The means by which cultures create consensus upon shared beliefs such as male superiority and misogyny is to make the shared beliefs into a generally accepted ideology or law. Laws are made of rules; they determined “how the [ideology of gender roles] was formulated, applied and implemented” (Yahyaoui 38). In order to make particular gender roles a generally accepted Saudi Arabian...

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