Gender inequality has always been a prevailing issue that affects countries all over the world. It is not limited to a specific country, or a region. Yet, in Middle Eastern countries, gender discrimination is often so deeply entrenched in the culture that it is seen as the norm. In the 2010 Freedom House report on Middle Eastern women’s rights, Saudi Arabia was ranked the lowest (Doumato, 2010). As women, they face prejudice and discrimination on a daily basis and are often relegated to a second-class citizen. Hence, in this report, I will be covering the discrimination faced by women in Saudi Arabia with regards to the following issues, social and marriage. 1.
First Issue- Social
As a Muslim dominated country, much of the country’s laws are heavily influenced by Shari’a- Islamic laws. (Wikipedia, 2010). It is the existence of such laws that heavily restricted the movement and freedom of women throughout the country. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to ban women from driving in major cities and towns. (Doumato, 2010) They are also discouraged from using public transports which force most of them to employ private drivers. As this is both costly and impractical, most women actually refrain from venturing out of their houses without a male guardian. Sex segregation is also widely practiced to minimize social interaction between genders. In fact, there are religious police tasked to enforce dress codes, sex segregation and observance of prayer. (Wikipedia, 2010) This strict observation of sex segregation severely limits the activities of women as they are prevented from interacting with non related males. In 2008, there was a case of an American woman being arrested by the religious police for sitting with a male colleague at Starbucks. She was thrown into jail, stripped-searched and forced to sign false confessions before being released. (Verma, 2008) In another controversial case in 2006, a girl who was gang raped was sentenced to...
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