Thursday , 21 June 2018

Are Saudi women really that oppressed?

Sabah Mannan

When it comes to Saudi women, most of the world has a certain image; unequal and can’t even drive! But many Saudi women say “That’s just a stereotype, that’s not even the full picture.” Journalist Samar Al Morgan remarked “The Saudi women are completely different. There are many different types of women. I’m one of those women who don’t fit the image portrayed by the western media.” Are women in the kingdom really that oppressed? Executive Director Nourah Al-Shabaan said “As a Saudi woman, I never felt oppressed. We have a parliament consisting more than 30 women.” – She talked about a recent move which allowed women to vote and take part in parliamentary election. More women from Saudi Arabia graduate from university than men. Contrary to popular belief, women in Saudi Arabia can work and in fact found prominence in different fields. Women in Saudi Arabia can do many things but what limits them is the need of having a male guardian. A student named Nourah Al Harbi responded saying “Some of the things we would like to see change include amending some of the laws like allowing women to obtain national ID without the need for a male guardian.” Researcher Hamsah Al-Sinousy alleged that some of the problems faced are by the women in prison who cannot be set free without the approval of a male guardian. Another issue is domestic violence where victims are left with few options but to remain silent. Clearly, when it comes to rights there are still many battles to fight. However, many women in Saudi Arabia said that labeling them as victims only makes it harder to fight the issues. The women also want the media to show the other side of Saudi Arabia.

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