Effect of Fundamental religious beliefs on Saudi Women

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

Saudi is one of the countries performing poorly when it comes to addressing issues of gender inequality. They have laws that forbid women from driving or even walking around without their male guardian. Some have attributed these vices to the Islamic religion as a primary determinant of this oppression. However, this has not always been the case. The religion has nothing to do with the oppression but everything to do with the people that interpret it. In order to address this discrimination the world and nations involved must come to a consensus to use religion to address this issue. History and background of gender roles in Saudi Arabia The gender views and roles have been shaped by the citizens’ local culture that has been built over time. In addition, they have also been built based on their understanding and interpretation of Islamic law. Most of these views are brought about by views of religious leaders who are highly esteemed in the Saudi Culture. Bryan (2012), points out that the interpretation is interpreted according to unwritten laws by the righteous predecessors known as the way of Salaf. In the recent past, there have been controversial discussions concerning these interpretation. Some religious leaders believe that gender mixing (ikhlat) has no basis in Saudi. While other leaders believe that those found violating ikhlat laws should be killed. Therefore, the issue of gender roles is generally a matter of cultural practices than religious beliefs. The cultural and modern gender setting in Saudi The cultural setting also plays a major role in shaping the view of women in Saudi.

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For instance, in the nomadic tribes around the peninsula consider the separation of women and men Central (Bryan 2012). In this region, women rights are somewhat suppressed because they operate under one notion that if it is not included in the Quran then it is forbidden. The Quran has little to say about the rights of women that’s why they is still some form of oppression. The traditional views have been passed on to the rulers who have played a huge role in reducing women rights. Women in the past were forbidden from voting in elections. Furthermore, women are not included in matters of politics and governance. Women possess unique talents that could increase competition, civic development and help foster democratic institution (Zehavit, 341). As a result, the country’s economic growth would grow at a double rate than what it is now.

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If more women were included in leadership, there would be radical strides to ensure that the country experiences a more democratic approach to issues. The argument does not always point to religion. With reduced influence, women become unable to fight for their rights or even give their contributions to society. They are reduced to mere objects. Despite the negative backlash that the world has given to Saudi in their role in gender inequality, a lot of positive strides have been made. For instance, in the past, women were not allowed to vote or participate in an election. However, in 2011, King Abdullah let accepted women to be allowed to vote in their 2015 elections (Rajkhan, 15). By having this approach of attacking their religion, the women whose rights are being fought for feel disrespected and take a step back.

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Therefore, in order to help fight for women’s right, the world needs to learn to respect their religion. In order for gender inequalities issues to be addressed, a variety of factors have to be considered. First and foremost, gender activists should be able to come up with a way to use religion to factor in women empowerment. For instance, they can use the fact that Mohammed’s first wife was a businesswomen who had employed her husband, as a way of encouraging women to actively pursue a career (Zehavit, 341). Several strides have been made to ensure that the women rights are being taken into consideration with leaders given them a stride. A lot needs to be done and it can only be done when the world and Islam countries work together in agreement.

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Works Cited Desiree, Bryan. Women in the Arab world: A case of Religion or Culture. E: International Relations Students, Aug 2 2012. Print. Priscilla Offenhauer. Women in Islamic societies: A selected review of social scientific literature. Library of congress: 2005. Print.

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