Women In The Middle Ease Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

Middle-Eastern Women
The Middle-Eastern culture is very different from that of the United States. Particularly, the way women are treated. Women in the US have as much freedom as they would like; whereas the women in the Middle-East have very little. In the Middle-East women are severely restricted in every aspect of their lives. They are not allowed to drive a car or go in public without the presence of a male family member, they have to be covered from their heads to their ankles in the presence of men, and they have very little choice, in who they marry.
Once a girl has her first menstrual cycle she is not considered a child anymore and is required to cover her face in the presents of men outside of her family. There are many types of veiling used in the Middle-East. Depending on the religious beliefs of the woman’s family or the laws of the country that she resides in, will determine what type of covering or veiling a woman will wear. Whether it is a hijab (also called a shaylah or a tarhah) that is a scarf like fabric that covers the hair and neck, warn with whatever modest outfit she chooses; or a nigab (also known as a burqa) that covers every part of the woman, which can also include the eyes. With the burqa she is allowed to wear anything she would like. Many woman wear western style clothing underneath their burqas. Veiling is said to be form protection from gender interaction and is also a showing of modesty for women.
Although there are no laws on the books against women driving a car in the Middle-East, it is banned and women cannot get a driver’s license. In recent years women have pushed issue by having protests and getting behind the wheel. One such protest was on October 26, 2013; about thirty-five brave women, in an act of defiance, got behind the wheel and drove in Saudi Arabia. According to Jamjoom & Smith-Spark (2013), police held “five women” drivers in Riyadh and every incident was handled appropriately (para. 4) and the “women weren't taken to police stations. Instead, they were kept in their vehicles until their male guardians arrived, at which point the women were released after signing pledges not to drive again” (para. 5). In November of 1990 there was another such protest in which about fifty women drove in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Per Al Omran (2011), women who were caught had harsh punishments compared to the women in 2013; they were forbidden from traveling, dismissed from their “government jobs” and were criticized in “mosques” (para. 16). Some of the women who participated in the 2013 campaign posted videos their drive time on YouTube.
In some cases arranged marriages are forced and carried out against the women’s or girl’s will. Girls are considered of marring age once they have their first menstrual cycle, which means that often the girls are married off at very young ages some as young as 12 or 13. In a number of these cases the girls are married to old men or men with multiple wives. Marriages are...

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