The Changing of Women’s Rights in The Middle East Over The Years. Research title: The Changing of…

The Changing of Women’s Rights in The Middle East Over The Years.

Research title: The Changing of Women’s Rights in The Middle East Over The Years.

Question: How have women’s rights in the Middle East changed?

Thesis: Two reasons why women’s rights in the Middle East have changed in the last 30 years are globalization and access to higher education.

  1. What are women’s rights?

“Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy” (Rosenfeld, 2007, p.3).

  1. Why did you choose this topic?

“World history for that matter, women have generally been treated as second-class citizens” (samuel, 2012, p. B6).

“As the societies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) undertake the difficult process of enacting social and political change, the unequal status of women stands out as a particularly formidable obstacle” (Kelly, 2010, p.1).

“In nearly all countries, women today are better represented in the labor force and play a more prominent role in the workplace than was the case five years ago” (Kelly, 2010, p.3).

“ Since 2003, women have become more visible participants in public life, education, and business in all of the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia. They have also gained more freedom to travel independently, as laws requiring a guardian’s permission for a woman to obtain a passport have been rescinded in Bahrain and Qatar during this report’s coverage period” (Kelly, 2010, p.2).

  1. Why did you choose Middle East?

“Ottaway writes that that the rights of Arab women are not sufficiently protected in the Arab world, that social norms preclude women from fully enjoying even their limited legal rights” (Trofin&Tomescu, 2010, p.152).

“ In the middle east region that the gap between the rights of men and those of women has been the most visible and severe” (Kelly, 2010, p. 2).

“The persistence of women’s exclusion from public life in contemporary Saudi Arabia is one of the most heated debates not only among Muslims but also worldwide, as Saudi society comes under more and more scrutiny internationally” (Hamdan, 2005, p.42).

“Due to their abundant natural resources, most GCC countries have experienced unprecedented growth and development of late, and are currently undergoing an economic and cultural metamorphosis. The effects of these changes on women and their rights cannot go unnoticed” (Kelly, 2010, p.3).

  1. Is there an economic effect from giving or taking away rights?

“Globalization and its related technologies can give developing economies the chance to catch up within the new global economy” (Schaebler, Erfurt, Lund, Sweden & Sternberg, 2002).

“Women’s rights and economic development are highly correlated” (Doepke,Tertilt&Voena, 2011, p.1).

“Moghadam reports that to understand the roles and status of women or changes in the structure of the family it is necessary to examine economic development and political change” (Trofin&Tomescu, 2010, p.153).

  1. Is there a difference between countries in the ME?

“As measured by this study, Tunisian women enjoy the greatest degree of freedom in the MENA region, followed by women in Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, the UAE, Iraq, Qatar, Oman, and Iran. Yemen and Saudi Arabia lag significantly behind” (Kelly, 2010, p.4).

“As measured by this study, Bahraini women enjoy the greatest degree of freedom in

the Gulf region, followed by women in Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, and Oman; Saudi

Arabia lags significantly behind” (Kelly, 2010, p.2).

  1. What is lacking in women’s right?

“Rothna Begum, a Middle East women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera that women’s roles in Saudi politics would still be limited” (First Saudi women register to vote, 2015).

“Some women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia say other issues are just as important as political participation, such as the ban on female drivers and the guardianship system, in which male relatives have legal control over many aspects of their female counterparts’ lives. Under the system, women are required to obtain their male guardian’s permission if they want to complete their university education, work, travel abroad, file a lawsuit in a court, and sometimes even to receive medical treatment” (First Saudi women register to vote, 2015).

“Women throughout the region earn less than men despite labor laws that mandate equal pay for the same type of work and equal opportunities for training and promotion” (Kelly, 2010, p.4).

  1. Have the rights changed over time?

“For the first time in the kingdom’s history, women will be able to vote, register as candidates and run for office in the municipal elections to be held on December 12. These will be the first polls since the 2011 decision by late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to grant women the right to vote and run for office” (First Saudi women register to vote, 2015).

“The number of women members of parliament in the Arab world has almost doubled in the last five years, according to a new report” (Arab women increase MP presence, 2005).

“Women in Kuwait have experienced the greatest gains of any Gulf country in terms of their economic participation. The proportion of women participating in the workforce has increased by 5 percent since 2003” (Kelly, 2010, p. 3).

“King Abdullah announced two changes Sunday, which would be historic for Saudi Arabia. He said women will be allowed to serve as members of the Shura Council, the Consultative Council that advises the king. Its 150 members are appointed” (Questions follow Saudi king’s promise on women’s rights, 2011).

“Despite the overall lack of freedom, however, women have made notable gains over the last five years in their ability to vote and run for elected offices, hold high-level government positions, and lobby the government for expanded rights” (Kelly, 2010, p.6).

  1. Which age will you focus on?


  1. What is the benefit of giving women’s rights?

“One of the main benefits women receive from a job is a degree of financial independence from families and husbands, something they lacked in the past” (Kelly, 2010).

“When women have more rights and equality, national standards of living also rise” (Trofin&Tomescu, 2010, p.156).

“The growing number of working women appears to be the result of increased literacy and educational opportunities, slowly changing cultural attitudes, and government policies aimed at reducing dependence on foreign labor” (Kelly, 2010).

“In Oman, a policy of “Omanization” has had a particularly positive effect on poor, less-educated women, who have been able to obtain jobs are cleaners, hospital orderlies, and kitchen help, allowing them to support themselves in the face of economic hardship and giving them a new role in the community” (Kelly, 2010).

“Many in Saudi Arabia also believe that women’s education will allow them to be actively involved in their society, both at home and in the marketplace” (Hamdan, 2005, p.54).

  1. What are causes to change?

“Moghadam underscores the government’s role in directing development and its impact on women, and examines shifting state policies in an era of globalization, and their effects on women’s employment and economic status” (Trofin&Tomescu, 2010, p.156).

“Political conflict or war can bring about social change, including change in the economic and political status of women” (Trofin&Tomescu, 2010, p.156).

“Moving to “Western Islam,” sociologist JocelyneCesari examines the “dramatically altered thought and practice” of the nearly seven million Muslims in Western Europe and the four to six million more living in the United States” (Schaebler, Erfurt, Lund, Sweden & Sternberg, 2002).

“First and foremost, the discovery and production of oil1 in 1930s was a major occurrence in the country. The oil-generated revenue in the early 1970s introduced large-scale changes, including the opening of education to both boys and girls. The economic upheaval arising from the increased income from oil gave rise to a trend towards education abroad, and a change in lifestyle, and these two changes affected the whole structure of society (Yamani, 1996, p.265). Oil and its resulting wealth had an unimaginable impact on Saudi Arabia in an extremely compressed period of time” (Hamdan, 2005, p.43).

“ One feature of economic globalization has been the generation of jobs for women in export-processing, free trade zones, and world market factories” (Moghadam, 2003, p.77).

“Saudi women and men who have been educated in the West return to the country with different visions for the future. Many Saudi support women’s rights and seek to support progress. Others who support women rights seek to implement change and feel that the restrictions on women have been reaffirmed instead of diminished” (Hamdan, 2005, p.55).

  1. What is the relationship between islam and women’s rights?

“Islamic teaching, as mentioned earlier, in the Quran and the authentic Hadith greatly emphasizes the importance of education and encourages women’s participation in all public spheres” (Hamdan, 2006, p.59).

“In discussing Islamic teaching with regards to women’s education, it is important to differentiate between the normative teachings of Islam and the diverse cultural practices among Muslims. One of the most common criticisms levied against Islam is that it treats women unjustly. Yet, in actuality Islamic teachings express great respect towards women. Moreover, traditionally women have had a prominent role in society. “Women in Islamic societies have reached political heights unparalleled in the most advanced Western nations”” ( Hamdan, 2005, p.53).

“Cultural customs that deny women equality have become entrenched in the Muslim culture to the point where they are often accepted as Islamic rules. Yet, many of the customs or rules adhered to today cannot be found in Islamic texts (for example, the belief that women should not drive cars or that women should not pursue Law or Engineering)” (Hamdan, 2005, p.54).

“Islam granted women not only the right to education, but also the right to inherit, own property, and full participation in all aspects of life (Almunajjed, 1994, Yamani, 1996) long before women in the West enjoyed such privileges” (Hamdan, 2005, p.55)

  1. What does globalization mean?

“Globalization is a complex and multidimensional process in which the mobility of capital, organizations, ideas, discourses, and peoples take on an increasingly global, transnational and integrated form” (Moghadam, 2003, p.75).

Organizing of research:

  1. Background and history of women’s rights in the Middle East
  2. Why did I choose this topic?
  3. Thesis
  4. Globalization
  5. Access to higher education
  6. Conclusion (summarize, lacking of women’s rights in the Middle East today and wishing to change and develop lacks in the future)
  7. References

This research is APA research (cause and effect). The research is 8 pages (2 pages introduction, 2 pages globalization, 2 pages access to higher education, 1 page conclusion, 1 page references). You don’t need to write abstract.

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