English 1121, section E115
Professor: Sarah Schmerler
March 4th 2019
Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia
Freedom is the power and ability to express who you are and who you want to be. Freedom is a form of power that many Americans possess. It is unfortunate that many Americans take the power for granted. Here in America, we have many privileges that many people in other countries do not have. In America, we have the freedom of speech and many rights such as the right for women to vote. In other countries, women are not allowed to vote and are forbidden to ever speak in public. For example, most of the people in Saudi Arabia is governed by sharia law, which is quite strict with regard to sexuality. Many people are held back due to religious reasons or the law. In America, you can marry the person you truly love , even if you are the same gender or the same sex. In most countries same- sex marriage is forbidden, unlawful, and could even get you killed. Women have the ability to be more than just your average housewife. In a country such as Saudi Arabia, women still do not have the right to vote. Until recently women in Saudi Arabia did not have the freedom to drive. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to go out out of the house without their husbands to take them anywhere.
Many women in Saudi Arabia are oppressed because they are not allowed to wear what they want to wear. They wear a veil and long black dress, which is called burqa. This is to be worn by all women. Women are not allowed to wear anything that may show their figure or reveal their hair. It is not a old religious, some say, man-made, law that restricts women’s clothing in public. Laws have been changing the past couple of years. Women and young girls are allowed to play sports in school, whereas in past years, women were banned from all sports.
Here in America women can go to any sporting event, but until recently in Saudi Arabia, women were not allowed to attend any sporting event. The government just gave freedom for women to attend any sporting event. The King of Saudi Arabia, before 2018, banned women from attending any sporting event such as soccer, which is significant in Saudi Arabia. Only males were allowed to view soccer games in public.
In Saudi Arabia, women were not allowed to join the military because their families were against it. Now with this new law, the government just gave the right for Saudi Arabian women to able to serve in the military, but they get to earn a high school diploma, and they get to mentally and physically compete. Also, in Saudi Arabia, any woman that would come forward in regards to sexual harassment would be frowned upon, and the judge would always rule in the males’ favor. Before 2018, women were banned from driving. Women were fined and arrested in Saudi Arabia because they were seen driving in public.
Many women faced many challenges due to not being able to drive and relying on poor public transportation or a male guardian to take them to work. In Saudi Arabia, education for women is a new thing because many women had struggled to get their education, that is, they had to through many trials and ask for guardians. Saudis started to educate their housewives instead of having them stay at home
The oppression has been lifted in Saudi Arabia because Saudis want their wives to be educated so the wives could help their husbands with raising their kids and teaching them, so the kids are better. Saudi Arabia’s new generation is coming up, which will start to give more rights to women to educate themselves. More women in future generations will be educated and will change the society view on females being educated.
Women back in Saudi Arabia have to go through many obstacles so they can finish their education. For example, I talked to my aunt. She want though so many trials so she could finish her education. My family was against it, and wanted her to get married after she finished high school. However my aunt did not want to get married and she refused to get married and wanted to to finish education, so she did not listen to my grandma and my grandpa, and she went to college. She finished college, and she became a teacher, which was very complicated for her but she still did it.
In conclusion, many of us take freedom for granted. Freedom to me is the ability to educate yourself freely, to have equal rights, to live in a way that both men and women can speak freely. It means to me the right to speak or say something you want to say without you worrying about what going to happen to you. Our future for women in Saudi Arabia will empower all women from all over the world. Women will have the power and mental freedom to conquer the world, which some still see the world as a man’s world. Generations are changing to the better, and slowly people are adapting to the culture where all men and women are equal.