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Perpetual Suppression of Saudi Women

Viewed 1412 times 2017-7-19 13:59 |System category:News


For a short period of time think that you and other groups of women are caught in the flames of fire waiting for your utterly painful death. Crying and yelling brings no hope into your heart since the men around you believe that according to Quran they are not allowed to touch women and help them out even in this urgent situation. The sorrow of this vision can make heart stop and the horror of it makes anyone utterly angry. This vision that I illustrated for you was not a thriller fantasy. In 2002, this event occurred in Saudi Arabia.

In this article, I try to explore and elaborate why such radical patriarchist ideology exists in Saudi Arabia? And What the initial step to overcome it?

It is good to firstly begin by explaining what is the situation of women in this country. In 2008, HRW published a noteworthy article titled “Perpetual Minors: Human Rights Abuses Stemming from Male Guardianship and Sex Segregation in Saudi Arabia.” In a part of the article it is said:

“The Saudi government has instituted a system whereby every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, who is tasked with making a range of critical decisions on her behalf. This policy, grounded in the most restrictive interpretation of an ambiguous Quranic verse, is the most significant impediment to the realization of women's rights in the kingdom. The Saudi authorities essentially treat adult women like legal minors who are entitled to little authority over their own lives and well-being.”

In other words, the whole life of women in Saudi Arabia is completely affected by the unfair conventions and traditions dominant in the country. They cannot travel without the permission of their men. They do not have the rights to drive in the street. They even have no legal rights to complain against an abusive male guardian. Believe it or not, when a Saudi woman goes to prison, she should stay there until her guardian gives the permission for her freedom. In other words, Saudi women are perpetual imprisoners of their male guardians.

In another report published in 2016 and titled “Saudi Arabia: Male Guardianship Boxes Women In,” HRW called for worldwide help to ban male guardianship policies in Saudi Arabia. Besides, this organization posted many pictures and videos related to the difficult and suppressive situation of women in its Twitter and Youtube accounts. In one of these videos it shows that though a Saudi women got her acceptance from a European university, she could not attend because of her young boy’s disallowance. All Saudi women should have a yellow page which indicates they have allowance from their male guardians for travelling. In some cases, old women could not travel because their young grandson did not allow them.

These problems and difficulties led many Saudi women activists to led women movements from 1990. In this very year many women and girls in Saudi Arabia began driving in the streets of their countries and asked for their rights. However, radical Wahhabi ideologists who mainly has the power in Saudi Arabia not only refused to do so but also put more oppression and suppression of female subjects.

Many thinkers and analysts believe that the problem of women in Saudi Arabia is the extreme patriarchist violations and convictions but I think the problem is caused majorly due to the submissive and objective attitudes of Saudi women. Unfortunately, many Saudi women does not have enough knowledge and therefore they are not well-informed about their rights. As a result, a great deal of their problems is known to be God’s will for female subjects and this difficult and sorrowful condition is inevitable.

Hence, it is important that as the first step the Saudi woman becomes well-aware of her rights. She should learn how to nurture and grow a male subject who understand the precious value of a woman and respect her from the day he is a child until he becomes an old man. These mothers can put aside the darkness of being submissive and turn on the light of being subjective and active for the sake of a free life style for the next generations of Saudi women.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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  • Mohamed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision 2017-7-3 22:55

    Human rights, gender equality, due process of law, separation of religion and state, science over ignorance and religion, efficiency, consumer rights - I could go on and on about the qualities that the WEST has given to the less advanced world - and that EVERY human LONGS for!

  • Mohamed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision 2017-7-3 22:11

    Ted180: Eventually history will run its course and Arabia will be westernized. Just a matter of time.
    Westernization is the path to perdition, and it will never happen in non-west countries.

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