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Role of Women in Middle Eastern Societies: A Comparative Analysis - Research Paper Example

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Modernization gave rise to a number of opportunities for women and this is evident in developed territories. During the early civilizations, women are not granted the same basic privileges as men were…
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Role of Women in Middle Eastern Societies: A Comparative Analysis
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Role of Women in Middle Eastern Societies: A Comparative Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... Women are not even allowed to decide on matters that directly affect their lives. They cannot choose who to marry, engage in educational pursuits, or even express their thoughts. Modernization gave rise to a number of opportunities for women, and such is evident in developed territories. The United Nations in collaboration with the government of the United States of America campaigns for the abolition of gender inequality, thus promoting policies and reforms to bring up the status of women in the society. However, the position of some countries in the Middle East as pertains to this issue has deeper roots—with implications on their culture and religion. Muslims in general, adapt to the way of life as stated in the Qur’an, and such is a fact that cannot be simply put behind. Nevertheless, there are countries in the Middle East that support the advocacy towards liberating women from the shackles of gender discrimination. Development in its broadest sense can be attributed to several factors, and in this areas, the improved role of women in the society and economy are among those to be given high regard. There are certain indications that support this claim, though these are not to be taken as an implicit avowal that without the women in action, moving forward is not probable. Role of Women in Least Developed Countries “The least developed countries (LDCs) are a group of countries that have been identified by the UN as least developed in terms of their low gross national income (GNI), their weak human assets and their high degree of economic vulnerability” (Nations Online, 2011). Among countries in the Middle East that belong to this classification include Afghanistan and Yemen. Both are identified for their conventional treatment of women and adherence to the extremist interpretation of the Qur’an in connection with the role of women. Before the Taliban ruled over Afghanistan, women from this country had the same freedom as those from the Western nations did. They dressed the Western style and “worked in agriculture, medicine, and law” (Rivera, 2004, p.48). Some interpretations of Qur’an assert that the role of the women primarily lies in overseeing the children, while men are to support the family financially, yet this was taken to the extreme under the Taliban rule, thus limiting their participation in other endeavors (Rivera, 2004). Similarly, Yemeni women do not have access to most of their “economic, social, and cultural rights and still face many challenges in exercising their full political and civil rights” (Nazir & Tomppert, 2005, p.336). Women representation in the government and labor is still at a minimal degree, and only 8.2 percent report paid employment (Nazir & Tomppert, 2005). The government of Yemen does not have effective systems to implement the compulsory education law, and “many families deny their daughters the right to education for cultural or economic reasons” (Nazir & Tomppert, 2005, p.337). Role of Women in Developed Countries According to the World Bank List of Economies (2011), Israel, Cyprus, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain make up the top 5 most developed countries and have the highest income level in the Middle East. Experts propose that globalization provided the key for this economic growth while Keddie (2007) correlates such a phenomenon with the “evolving role of women in the Middle Eastern societies, with implications for their opportunities to work and organize, and for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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