What causes gender inequality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
Forced to wear the burka to being subject to polygamy. Being ruled by laws that forbid women to drive and work. Forbidden to leave the house without a male member of the family, Saudi women are the victims of severe gender inequality within their country.
Most of us might blame the situation of Saudi women on a strict and intolerant religion, a lack of education or even a lack of awareness of Saudi women about their rights. Some of these assumptions may be partially or entirely correct, but why is it that other Muslim countries such as Jordan, treat their women better?
Can religion be blamed for the treatment of Saudi women? According to popular belief, the women’s biggest oppressor in Saudi Arabia is the Sharia laws, or Islamic law. Surprisingly Sharia laws ought to have offered liberation to women across Saudi (Rahman p 356-9). Prior to the establishment of Islam as the nation’s religion in the 15th century, Saudi Arabia was plunged in an era of Jahiliya, or ignorance. Sharia laws require the strict following of the holy book, or the Quran and the meticulous practice of the ethics of Islam. In the Quran it is stated that: “A woman is also a daughter and a sister and like her male brother is born of the same lineage and from the same womb” (Al-Mannai p. 83). The holy book promotes the equality of men and women and explicitly presents women as the equal counterparts of men. Thus, if Saudi were genuinely a Sharia abiding nation, Saudi women would not be discriminated against in any way, as the book of God emphasises equality. (Rahman p 357-8). Could this mean that the application of the Sharia laws are subjective to the convenience of the male population?
Then if religious texts promote equality, why are women still discriminated against? Despite religion guiding them as to how to treat their women, Saudi men tend misinterpret the content of ain Abdulla the Quran, and distort its meaning. (Syed et al...