Middle Eastern Women Name Course Date Middle Eastern Women Most Western countries continually feign the state at which Arab and Muslim women are. The reality of the matter is purely different from those of the West as women in the Middle East are subjected to inhumane discriminations over the years and even presently. Despite a dynamic environment that embraces activism and equality among all, the Middle Eastern woman is left alone and broken, invisible as well as dormant in a world that advocates for change rather than status quo. Middle Eastern women suffer due to the impediments based on gender to receiving full realization of their rights as equal members in the society.
It is in these countries that the intimidating difference between the rights of men and those of women is most noticeable and where struggle for women’s parity has been most difficult. Indeed, it is correct to surmise that the Middle Eastern women are bound by the male dominated society, which elates the state of men and degrades that of women. One of the greatest forces hindering Middle Eastern women is Islam. Islam has opposed women’s rights, secularism and modernization.
The religion has been used as a political tool to oppress women’s freedom and public rights, as well as their freedom of expression in the social, cultural and political field. It rallies behind the upholding of atrocious decrees and customs such as genocide and beheading. Under the Taliban mercenary, countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan have changed women’s homes into a prison, which excludes them from work and education and increases the violence against women. Women in the Middle East have been reduced to second-rate citizens.
The rights a citizen enjoys such as education, security and freedom to worship are not delegated to them. There have been unjust laws created that undermine these women throughout the region. Arab women who get married to foreigners are denied the right to give citizenship to their husbands (Keddie, 2007). Fathers are the only ones allowed to extend citizenship to their children. Other instances involve the denial of citizenship or its privileges to a woman who has been widowed, divorced or deserted, or if her husband is not a national in the country, where the couple lives. Moreover, the law in most Middle Eastern countries is intended to guard women only within their family roles, ignoring those who need protection from their own families.
Crimes such as rape and honor killing are overlooked by the governments of these states thereby letting women go through heinous injustices. Such states reluctantly provide rights available to a full citizen to their women. By ignoring gender-based violence issues and giving soft penalties to the perpetrators, the states emphasize the barring of women from the rights of citizens (Hegland, 2004). The Sharia Law also demoralizes women by making them dependent on the men to carry out actions that should be theirs by right. For instance, the Sharia Law based on families require women to acquire the consent of their fathers, brothers or husbands to get a passport, travel abroad, entrepreneurship, obtain a bank loan, open a bank account or even get married.
This further alienates women from taking up economic, social and legal matters. Over the years, there has been an ideology conceived by the Western countries that set a misrepresented notion that Middle Eastern women are passive when it comes to seeking equality and justice for all. The truth is that there have been many women who have stood up and have strived to make the world better. Despite the chauvinistic precedents set, these women have soldiered on and challenged the misconceptions about them. An example of a female activist who has fought for women’s rights in Egypt is Dr.
Nawal El Saadawi. In her interview with Riz Khan dubbed, What role will women play in Egypt’s New Political Era, Dr. Saadawi reflects on the Egyptian revolution. She also talks of the status of women in Egypt. She firmly states that democracy and women’s rights are not different from one another since women make up more than half of the society. She reiterates that a democracy is nothing without half of the society who are women. In the interview, Saadawi also emphasizes on the need for secularization in order to ensure women are given equal rights as well as campaigning against female genital mutilation, which is medically harmful against women.
In another interview, Freedom to Write Lecture, Saadawi goes on to say that what is termed as freedom presently is an illusion because there is a restriction to a person’s creativity in writing. She also further states that colonialism is still present. It is used in language and academic writings.
She reiterates that freedom to write has the power to ‘unveil’ the mind. In another interview, Naadawi tells women not to submit to societal rules that are unjust. She talks about creativity, and how it is not subject to intellect but it encompasses the mind, body and soul. It is unfortunate that oppression still exists in this modern era.
The very women, who are the mothers of the nations, are subject to humiliation, torture and unfair practices in other countries and have no strength to voice their grievances. The likes of Nawal El Saadawi have raised hope in the hearts of the women plagued by the cold bout of modern slavery. Now, women are able to stand and retrieve what belongs to them. Indeed, there is neither room nor sense in inequality. References Hegland, M. E. (January 26, 2011).
Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change (review). Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 1, 2, 153-156. Keddie, N.
R. (2007). Women in the Middle East: Past and present. Princeton: Princeton University Press.